Guest Blogger: Daniela Sunde-Brown, aged 16.
What is it that makes us fair dinkum different from the rest of the world? Not that much any more it seems, writes Daniela.
As technology advances and globalisation spreads, is our Australian national identity fading? Language and cultural boundaries throughout the western world are blurring. So how can we as Australians hold on to what is left of our ‘true blue’?
Young Australians in their search for individual identity, ironically model themselves on their peers. While these peers used to live ‘down the road’, today our youth model themselves on peers from a global community via the internet, particularly Facebook and myspace. A dominant US pop culture has swept over our nation and influenced our identity. Baseball caps and Levis have replaced the Aussie Akubra and Moleskins, Aussie rock has given way to hip-hop and techno and the McFeast has overtaken meat pies. This sharing of ideas, music, pictures and home videos on the net merges our cultural identities, as the young of the western world strive to be all the same.
Most at risk of being lost through this international ‘sharing’ of music, media and books, is our unique language identity. Words such as footpath, paddock, nature strip, bush, creek and ute may be words our grandchildren will not understand.
And now the Federal government is considering removing current restrictions on the parallel importation of books. If that happens, then US versions of Australian publications will be sold here.
US publishers edit out Aussie content, spelling and cultural references to suit the US market. This will result in the deterioration of our own language and the disappearance of a cultural identity for young Australian readers.
Will a future generation of Australian teenagers park their pick up next to the sidewalk?
“Are you really disappearing,
Just another dying race?
Hey, True Blue,”
“If they sell us out like sponge cake,
Do you really care?
Hey, True Blue.”
(John Williamson – Australian singer and composer)
We must at least try to preserve our fast-fading Australian identity, before it disappears entirely.
Daniela Sunde-Brown, aged 16