So its been a while since the event but I forgot about this post and its been sitting in my drafts. Wops
First I should give some background on ANZAC day for my follows who are not Australian or New Zealanders.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli and on Saturday 25 April 2015. ANZAC Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. On 25 April 1915, Australian and New Zealand troops landed on the shores of Gallipoli, and alongside other British Commonwealth and French troops, began an ultimately futile seven month campaign against Ottoman forces. The sacrifices of the Gallipoli campaign forged an enduring bond between the people of Australia and New Zealand that remains to this day. It has become customary each year, on the 25 April, for the people of both nations to commemorate those who served in all wars and conflicts – and recognise the contribution made by all personnel who have or are serving in the armed forces of Australia and New Zealand.
The construction of Australian identity in the nation’s cultural imaginary remains shaped by its continued engagement with the Anzac legend. As a relatively new state, prior to World War One Australians felt insecure about their cultural heritage and their relationship with the British Empire and the rest of Europe.Australians’ involvement in the Great War was their principal confrontation with a European history and modernity. Gallipoli was an extension and confirmation of Australia’s presence in the international community.
The Anzac legend can be traced back to the romanticism of colonisation and the Australian bush. Stereotypical representations of the ideal Australian bushranger: tall, tough, laconic, hard-drinking, hard-swearing, hard-gambling , independent, resourceful, anti-authoritarian, manual labouring, itinerant, white male were attributes that provided the foundation for the Anzac digger legend.
Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landing at Gallipoli but this historical occasion has been elevated above all other national events and stories to embody Australian values and character. Characteristics of the digger have become embroiled in Australian identity.
When I’m home in Australia I don’t think much about being an Australian. I know I live in a country that people are (literally) dying to set foot on and despite small local grievances it is a stable country to live in. But as soon as the plane lives Australian air space I feel extremely luck to be an Australian and almost feel like I need to apologise for the life I was born into.
So I was very excited when I found that there was going to be a ANZAC Day Dawn service in Kuala Lumpur. The Australian and New Zealand High Commissions hosted the ANZAC Day Commemorative Dawn Service, at the Tugu Negara (National Monument), Lake Gardens, Kuala Lumpur. It was a beautiful service that started a 6:30am and, as it does every year it brought a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes as I stood there thinking about the sacrifices that have been made so I can live in the lucky country I do.
At one point before the service had started my candle was blow out from the wind luckily for me lovely Australian from Perth was standing near by and I asked if I could use his flame to re light my candle. We got chatting about life living abroad and also family at home and he go roped into giving me a lift to the traditional Gunfire Breakfast that was held at the New Zealand Residence after. There I met another Australian couple who had just moved to KL from Saudi Arabia and a mother and her daughter who were originally from New Zealand but had both been living in Sydney for the past 20 year (the daughter was now working in KL). The breakfast was as close to a traditional gunfire breakfast as you could get in Malaysia and there was even Bundy and milk on offer.
After breakfast I found my way to the Green Man pub which google had told me was going to be playing the Bommers VS Magpies ANZAC day match. And sure enough it was. With my burger and (Tiger) Beer I settled in to watch the game and enjoyed it more than I ever would have at home.
It really is a strange feeling, loving a country so much more when you are 6,364 km from home. But hay! Whats the saying? Distance makes the heart grow fonder