An Overview of Australia’s Freedom Day Culture
Every single community or tribe on the face of the earth has a way of living, traditions, and cultures that are unique to that specific group of people. Usually, a culture is passed from one generation to another right from the originators of that specific tribe, that is, the fathers of that particular community. Cultures usually shape the way certain people behave and how they even celebrate days of significance to them. As the proverb goes, “abandonment of culture and traditions is slavery”. That could be true; perhaps that’s why Australians have not dashed Freedom Day’s culture.
No matter how modernized your country or state may be, there will always be those traits and aspects that will define you as a people from that region. That aside, let’s shift focus on the Freedom Day and the culture that accompanies the day.
The culture at Freedom Day in Australia
Freedom Day in Australia is celebrated in a very classical way by having a three-day festival which is accompanied by a variety of activities aimed to make the day memorable in the mind of the attendants. Basically, the day is to commemorate the Elders, especially from the Gurindji community who broke from an oppressive pastoral industry which had taken their land and was putting a hefty burden on them inform of oppression from one generation to another for around 80 years. They walked from Wave Hill and fought for land rights. They could usually gather at Partki tent where they held their meetings during the strike.
During the Freedom Day festivals, they demonstrate all these things which actually educate the young people about their tradition and culture in August every year. As part of the culture of Freedom Day, the attendants are involved in the following activities:
- Usually, there is a 20 minute Wave Hill Walk-Off
- There is usually a concert called Jikjik (come out) which features Wajarra Dances
- Music and flashy fireworks
- Cinemas and films
- Art and photo exhibitions
- Various forums where people discuss interesting topics on politics, community leaders, education, nature, activism, and protecting their country, etc.
- Speeches from indigenous leaders
- Entertainment from local school children
- Interviews in the Partiki tent with the Gurindji elders who were part of Walk Off
- Music from special guests and award-winning artists
- Educating of youths and young kids about their culture
The freedom and prosperity Australia is enjoying now never came easy. It was through the sacrifice of those 200 elders of Gurindji, Mudburra, and Warlpiri who took a bravely but risky step of taking their belongings and walking from old Wave Hill Station where they had stayed for over 40 years. This led to killings for resisting the white cattlemen, a collapse of the cattle industry, and eventually freedom and land rights of Australians.