World News – AU – Australia tweaks anthem to recognize indigenous history


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The words « we are young and free » have been changed to « we are one and free ». The Aboriginal and islanders of Torres Strait have lived for more than 60 years. 000 years on the continent.

The text of the Australian national anthem has been changed one word to reflect the country’s indigenous history, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Thursday.

The song began until Friday: “The Australians are all happy because we are young and free. But as the country celebrated the beginning of the new year, the « boys » were dropped. The anthem now describes the country as « one and free ». ”

« Australia as a modern nation may be relatively young, but our country’s history is ancient, as are the stories of the many First Nations peoples whose responsibilities we rightly recognize and respect, » said Mr.. . Morrison, who heads the Liberal Party, wrote an opinion piece for The Sydney Morning Herald.

« In a spirit of unity, it is only right that we now acknowledge this and ensure that our national anthem reflects this truth and shared appreciation, » he added. « Changing from » young and free « to » one and free « doesn’t take anything away, but I think it adds a lot. ”

The move was supported across the political spectrum. Labor opposition leader Anthony Albanese said the country should « take pride in the fact that here, with the First Nations people, we have the oldest cohesive civilization on the planet, » according to the BBC.

The anthem « Advance Australia Fair » was written in 1878 by Peter Dodds McCormick. It became the national anthem in 1984 and replaced « God Save the Queen ». The first line was changed to include women more. « Australia’s Sons » became « All Australians ». ”

Critics of the « young and free » lyric said it suggested that Australia’s history began relatively recently, perhaps with the Australian Federation on Jan.. January. 1, 1901, or the raising of a British flag in Sydney Cove on Jan. . 26, 1788. This event is officially celebrated as a public holiday, Australia Day, but some Indigenous activists are calling it « Invasion Day » in recognition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who have been around for more than 60 years. 000 years on the continent.

In recent years, the anthem controversy has repeatedly sparked in the places where the song is normally performed: in sports arenas. In 2015, the Yorta Yorta soprano Deborah Cheetham declined to sing the anthem for the Grand Final of the Australian Football League in Melbourne.

« Our national anthem tells us we are young and free, » she wrote in an essay for The Sydney Morning Herald. “Many Australians continue to blindly accept this. ”

And in recent years, some indigenous Australian professional athletes have refused to sing or stand up for the anthem before games or games, including boxer Anthony Mundine and rugby players Cody Walker and Josh Addo-Carr.

In November, New South Wales Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian endorsed the lyrical shift from “young” to “one” and told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, “It is time to recognize the tens of thousands of years of the First Peoples this continent. ”

« We’re tens of thousands of years old when it comes to human inhabitants, » she said. « It’s just a small gesture. ”

The Sydney Morning Herald also supported the idea in an editorial in November. 11. But it added that “Symbols are not a substitute for action such as amending the federal constitution to create a voice for parliament, as outlined from the heart in the Uluru Declaration. ”

The Uluru Declaration from the Heart was a 2017 call by indigenous Australians for the government to enshrine a First Nations voice in the constitution. This could mean that a group of indigenous Australians has a voice in parliament and can contribute to laws and policies that affect them. Mr. Morrison rejected the idea of ​​a so-called « third chamber » of parliament.

Advance Australia Fair, Scott Morrison, National Anthem

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