Recognition Of Chinese New Year as a public holiday In Australia
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Goal: The recognizing of Chinese New Year as a public holiday in Australia.
Hello people, I feel Chinese New Year should be recognized in Australia as a first step towards the multiculturalism that people want to achieve, do not get me wrong I know there are other holidays from other cultures and it would be great to get the them recognized however I lack the knowledge to be able to explain the significance of those holidays and to even name them (sorry in advance!) So do feel free to start your own petitions to get them recognized if your wish.
As some background information: I am a dual citizen with Australian and Singaporean citizenships, I am currently undergoing National Service in Singapore and have been in Singapore since January 2017. During my time in Singapore I have seen and experienced many different cultures as Singapore seems to be a mixing pot of it. Here many holidays religious or not are recognized through being marked as public holidays; these holidays range from Vesak Day, Easter, Christmas, Deepavali, Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Aidil Fitri and Hari Raya AIdhil Adha. Before returning to Singapore in 2017 I had never heard of most of these holidays before and was further intrigued by the difference in how the different races (or cultural groups is we want to be PC) interact with each other. In Australia, sayings such as "go home you Asian cunt", "Do you eat dog?", "Ching Chong Wabba Ding Dong skinny eyes" and "Sorry can you please speak English I simply cannot understand that noise you are making" were common things directed towards me. This contrasts my experience in Singapore as there are Malays, Indians, Chinese and other groups living in harmony, I see churches next to temples and mosques, I see Sikhi, Christians, Taoists, Buddhists, Muslims, Athiests and Agnostics around in harmony respecting other people's views and living in racial harmony here during my BMT and my posting out to my base. I don't see any anti-religious messages spray painted on religious buildings here whereas if I saw a news report about offensive messages spray painted on mosques or churches it would not have surprised me. The Singaporeans do not harbor massive resentment towards the Japanese who had occupied them in World War 2 compared to the hatred that has split us Australians between each race; the Aboriginal Australians are stuck in a cycle of marginalization, I have had a friend from Iran who has had a Caucasian attempt to shield his young son from him when he walked past perhaps out of fear that my friend was a terrorist. All of this opened my eyes to how behind we are in Australia in terms of multiculturalism and racial harmony and how movements such as the recognizing of Aboriginal Australians in the Preamble of the Constitution and closing the cycle of marginalization they suffer is only the first step to progress towards this kind of multiculturalism. At the moment, the public holidays that are largely recognized in Perth are Easter, Christmas and Australia Day, they have massive celebrations and the people do a good job at doing them it is always a nice time from seeing the massive beautiful fireworks over the Swan River to just seeing the Easter bunnies pop up in Woolworths and Coles. However Chinese New Year in Perth at least is just a time where a few lanterns MAY be put up and kung fu schools start doing public lion dances. For Chinese New Year in Singapore the decorations are beautiful; Chinatown is alive with red decorations,and massive zodiac animals for the appropriate year, it is a public holiday where those who celebrate are free to return to their homes and be with their families (family being a integral theme of Chinese New Year.) and live out the traditions practiced shared since the first ideas of Chinese New Year, everyone here knows the saying " 年年有余" which is a saying promoting prosperity for the New Year. Back in Perth I had never even heard of the saying and only knew it was our new year and a time I would get "hong bao" which are red packets filled with money that are given to people who are not married. Subsequently, people in Australia completely miss out on the spirit of Chinese New Year and those who are not Asian just see it as a time for lion dances to come out and even us Asians there aren't too sure about it. Please forgive me if I seem to be straying off topic for essays and arguments were never my strong point. But what I am trying to get across is if we want to be multicultural and have racial harmony we should take the first step towards it through understanding: the recognizing of these public holidays of different cultural backgrounds to help promote the culture of the respective group to educate the people about different cultures and promote a respect for all culture so that we can move on our journey to racial harmony. I can understand some people disagreeing thinking it is unnecessary to do this but another way to put it is family is a key theme of Christmas so its why there is a public holiday to let people see their families right? Family is also a key theme of Chinese New Year so may we also have a public holiday for us to see our families and practice our traditions?
Lobbying is how we the people connect with our local Members Of Parliament so that they can communicate the needs and wants of their electorate to the House Of Representatives. Now for those not in Perth I am sorry but it would still mean a lot if you were to sign this petition. Give or take a month or two, whether it be 10 or 3000 I will email John Carey (Labor MP for Perth) the petition and a quick summary on what we are asking for. If there is no reply I will ask a dear friend of mine to lobby this petition forward. Some people may ask why not the Prime Minister? well petitions are not something you would take to the Prime Minister more something to take to your local Member Of Parliament to show that his electorate wants something addressed and deliberated, it would also have the largest chance of success to do this as we would probably get chucked with the good ol "seen" if we email the Prime Minister.
Thanks again for signing this petition or even reading it and considering it, I am open to constructive criticism do feel free to point out anything you may find wrong with this I hope this is at least discussed within the party and deliberated on. So for those who sign this please get the word out to your friends who are interested in this so we can maximize our chances for success
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