Posts Tagged ‘Anzacs’

Old fools and The Anzacs.

April 19, 2015

This photo taken during an Anzac parade in the 1990′ Sydney

Just when we thought it safe to go outside the front door, our colds came back. It seems the lull in sneezing and coughing was just the eye of the storm. The worst was yet to come. We are now in full flight of a solid cold but with an appetite for food not diminished it can’t possibly be that bad. It just feels like that. We had booked a flu shot for last Thursday but had to cancel it. In all surgeries signs appear not to visit the doctor while having a cold. Hardly an encouragement for seeking help.

In any case I also noticed a sign blue-tacked below the secretary’s window, ‘the 2015 flu vaccination will not be available till after 23 April’. That date is yet to come. So, why was it possible to get this shot last Thursday? A friend of us told the same story and was told by doctor he could also get his flu shot now but it would be last year’s serum! What the hell. Are we oldies being taken for a ride or what? Who needs a flu shot for last year’s flu? The world is a dangerous place with lurking deceptions as common as specials of Super market’s butter reduced from $ 1.80 to a mouthwatering $ 1.95.

The stubbornness of our colds could also be due to the relentless campaign for the 100 years remembrance of the fallen soldiers at Turkey’s Gallipoli. All TV channels now seem to only feature Doccu-entertainfomation footage of war and mayhem at Gallipoli. The spirit of the Australian Anzacs, the legends and  stories of heroism and bravery, sacrifice and duty for Mother England so the world can live in freedom. On on and on it goes.

And yet, what has it taught us? Our foreign minster Julie Bishop, scouring  war ravaged Middle Eastern countries trying to get agreements, including of all place by Iran, to take back by  force from Australia hundreds of Iranians that sought our refuge, a safe haven, freedom from oppression and bombings!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-18/julie-bishop-arrives-in-iran-for-talks/6402776

“Iran has reportedly been reluctant to agree to the repatriation of failed Iranian asylum seekers.

Earlier this week, Iranian ambassador Abdolhossein Vahaji indicated his country was unlikely to agree to a deal on the issue.

“We cannot put any pressure and impose any forces on them in order to send them back to Iran,” he said.

“This is against the law and regulation and we cannot [do it] according to human rights [laws].”

Even Iran is telling Australia that it would be a breach of human rights. So where does this leave us? Australia is clearly flouting its obligations, but it gets worse. People in detention on Australian soil while getting the refugee status dealt with, in most cases taking years, will be send to Nauru if women fall pregnant. Babies of refugees will not be allowed to be born on Australian soil to avoid a claim for residency status. Can you believe it? While Italy and other countries are sending boats and helicopters to try and save hundreds from drowning, Australia sends warships and tow the refugees back to  where they fled from.

We will remember the fallen of the thousands of Anzacs in private and spend time in ‘Lest us forget’ in silence and contemplation, without all this Government’s phoney hoopla and shabby mean-spirited ploys to a pretence of care.

The Anzacs would understand.

 

Float your Sins on the Ganges

February 11, 2013

Float your sins on The Ganges.

Those millions queuing up to take a dip in the Ganges must have something that we don’t know about. I know that for many, a wash in the rivers of ‘insight and wisdom’ has for hundreds of years been the annual aim for  devout Hindus. As someone from an alien culture, I wonder what it is that seems to beckon those millions to wade into those waters.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-10/tens-of-millions-bathe-at-ganges-festival/4510894

Is it a communal confession? The ritual is to cleanse oneself from sin and it seems rather poetic and certainly in contrast with the western method of confession whereby a solitary figure sits in a dark little room separated by a screen. He or she confesses his wrongdoing to another mortal. It must be a bit of an embarrassment, especially in a small village; to have bared your soul to someone you might meet again at the butcher shop next day.

I like the Hindu way of letting the magic of the river carry your misdemeanors and sins downstream much better. The figures are amazing. Over 110 million Hindus are expected to enter at Sangam which is the point where three rivers join at Allahabad. Over 50 000 police are there to try and give everyone a chance to enter the water over a six day period. An ‘en masse’ show of spiritual cleansing and breaking the cycle of death and re-birth.

A nice sideline is that apart from the cleansing of sins it is also a celebration of the Gods overcoming your demons with the promise of precious nectar that would ensure immortality.

With the solitary Christian confession it is a bit of a lonely trip, isn’t it? No promise of goodies coming your way, just hell and damnation if you fail in your effort to keep hands above the blankets or refuse to do the washing up or lay the table, swear at your sister or throw a rock over the neighbours fence or do the shopping for mum. Perhaps, the goodies our way is the sitting around with angels, boring…! Who wants to be good with that kind of reward?

No, they definitely have the edge over us at Allahabad. There it is, millions of people wishing to assuage their most inner self, seeking spiritual salvation, renewal and revival through a wash in the holy Ganges till next year’s pilgrimage.  The clanging of cymbals, the emerging saffron heads rising above the water with the garlands of marigolds tangled around the ashen painted aesthetic piercing the rising fog.  This seems to be a reward in itself and present in this life as well for all the Hindus…It doesn’t lighten the burden of life but is ‘shows’. This is the loveliness of the annual ritual of the Hindus.

It’s hard not to be seduced by the magic of it all. Although for us cynical westerns, we would probably see it as just as a dirty muddy river and ask ourselves; what about the hygiene of it all? Where are the flush duel buttoned toilets? I want soap and hair conditioner with carotene and triple layered loo paper. Perhaps, that’s why we will forever be looking for salvation without finding it. Lost to the arid desert of consumerism and brick veneers with beloved colour bonded fence, separating us from each other till the privacy of our dismal end by the funeral director or “Ladies in White” and final consumption by the fiery but lonely cremation at Rookwood…

Some say, we have our rituals and then mention ‘The Melbourne Cup’. The whole nation stands still wearing large hats and thousands punting on horses and their pacing hoofs. We have Anzac days with two-up in the pub while wearing rosemary and drinking cleansing schooners. Let’s not forget the footy ‘finals’ and tennis. They are our cleansing rituals as well.

I am not sure. I so wish I could believe that.