Sunday Saying – Democracy

My daughter voted for the first time ever yesterday. It was a proud and important milestone for both of us. Time for her to exercise her democratic right as an Australian female citizen.

Beginner embroidery
Completed Embroidery in hoop

For centuries, women were disregarded as not being able to understand the complexities of the parliamentary system and relegated to the parlour where embroidering was a more suited pursuit.

Rather shocking to think of that now…

If my daughter had been born over 100 years ago, she would not have qualified to vote. Thank goodness times have changed.

New Zealand
Yay for New Zealand!

It is unsurprising to see which countries offered universal suffrage first:

“New Zealand was the first country to allow women to vote -1893 – [ well done, sister kiwis], while the King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia granted women the right to vote in 2011. “

  • 1893 New Zealand
  • 1902 Australia
  • 1906 Finland
  • 1913 Norway
  • 1915 Denmark
  • 1917 Canada
  • 1918 Austria, Germany, Poland, Russia
  • 1919 Netherlands
  • 1920 United States
  • 1921 Sweden
  • 1928 Britain, Ireland

Compulsory voting for national elections was introduced in Australia in 1924, following a pronounced fall in turnout at the 1922 federal election. “

Furthermore, I have grown up knowing voting was once a privilege of the landed gentry, or a domain of men, and thus, take my democratic right very seriously. I am Australian and we expect to vote. It is compulsory here. Yet for many people, voting is a painful process, they avoid it, cast an informal protest vote, or don’t vote at all.

When you think of how many generations did not have a say in how their government was run, it is sobering to think that some would take this right to determine our parliamentary makeup frivolously.

American Thomas Jefferson noted,

” We do not have government by the majority.

We have Government by the majority who participate.”

Whilst many other countries don’t make it compulsory to vote, be it bad or good, our compulsory system, means we do get a more comprehensive view of the public’s wishes in our federal elections. Notwithstanding the preferential voting systems, of course.

“Bad Officials are elected by good citizens who don’t vote.”

~ George Jean Nathan

Do you agree with Preferential system of voting? Or, ‘first past the post’? [ie. those with the most votes in first place].

Should voting be compulsory?

As Ab Lincoln said, “the ballot is better than the bullet.”

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Something to Ponder About

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The Spirit Lives On

veterans

Early this morning, April 25, more people than usual were up early. What’s more, they were all walking past my house. Where were they going?

If April 25 holds any significance for you, I won’t have to tell you.

The Dawn Service – April 25

At the end of my street is a memorial to Australia’s and New Zealand’s fallen soldiers in war, and April 25 is named, Anzac Day, because of them.

When WWI was declared, many young men, fathers, brothers, sons, signed up as soldiers, volunteering to fight with their Allies in Europe. Many of them faked their age so that the armed forces would accept them for duty. The youngest volunteer was James Martin, a mere 14 years and 3 months old.

James Martin, along with my Great Uncle, were amongst the Australian and New Zealand soldiers, who briefly trained for open desert warfare, prior to travelling to the Dardanelles near Turkey, and came to be known as ‘Anzacs.’

veterans

‘Anzacs’, because they were the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

Anzacs because they fought for 8 months in the hellhole campaign that was steep cliff faces and filthy trenches in a place, known as Gallipoli. 8,141 Australians died at Gallipoli and thousands more were injured. Including my Great Uncle ‘Ted’ – Edward Russell.

Many of Australia’s finest, strongest and youngest men were fatally wounded, including one called James Martin, then just 15 years old.

This was not the worst battle in the war. Many more men died on the battlefields in France. Yet the Anzac ‘diggers’ and this spirit represents a special place in the hearts of Australians. They are the most venerated. Anzac day and its tradition of remembrance of them, becomes more popular each and every year.

Gympie

We have few real traditions in our country. Perhaps this is the reason we cling to Anzac Day as it binds our nation together as a community?

Perhaps it is the stories of the death of such a young man as James Martin, the loss of such youthful promise, that brings home to each and every one of us, the enduring horror and consequences of war. Such senseless loss.

The following poem and haunting bugle tune never fails to brings tears to my eyes. In the tune, the bugle player summons the troops to assemble; the bugle calls them once, twice, three times, but the fallen soldiers do not come, nor do they answer.

Anzac day commemorates all servicemen and women who served in conflicts, not just those who died. To honour those who paid the supreme sacrifice, we stand in silence, after the reading of the Ode and the Last Post is played.

Anzac biscuits
Anzac biscuits – these were sent to the troops in Gallipoli by family

And what of James Martin’s family, living far away from the battlefields, in Australia? How did they cope without the boy they once held safe, in their arms?

A mother grieving a lost son; a Father who’d never have a beer or teach his son how to fix a broken car; a brother or sister who’d no longer feel the camaraderie between siblings as they grow, a schoolkid who’d lost his mate, and finally the boy himself, who’d never grow old enough, to become a man.

Every armed conflict and terrorist act, hurts more than just nations, soldiers and civilians, but the raw horror and loss cast a long and painful shadow far and wide.

James, like so many other soldiers gave up his tomorrows, so that we could enjoy today.

War is deeply woven into human history. Organized society and conflict appear to have marched side by side, each affecting the other. Wars have changed societies in many ways but changes in society have also affected the nature of war.

https://rst.org.au/prof-margaret-macmillan-war-and-the-making-of-the-modern-world-friday-10th-august-2018-600-pm-stanley-burbury-theatre-utas/

Have we yet learned the lesson fighting has for us?

wreath veterans

Lest We Forget

Lens Artists – Creativity

We are all creatives here at the blogging world. As Manja recently commented, posts can be stories, and stories are creative. But today I would like to post some creativity of my own.

I never considered myself a creative sort, that is until I discovered a very old decorative art form from Norway, called Rosemaling and even though I was far away in Australia, I was determined to learn how I could paint in a similarly creative way.

Little did I realize that Rosemaling was to take me to so many places, meet so many fantastic people, and make so many enduring friendships around the world. From Iceland to Turkey, Japan, Holland and back to Australia.

rosemaling fabric
One of my painting that I have printed on fabric

As I have my own photographic challenge, that I co-host with another blogger, I do like to support other bloggers who are running challenges, when I can. This is the first time I have participated in the Lens Artists challenge.

Rosemalt kubbestol
My mentor’s Rosemaling

This very old art form, called Rosemaling stems back to the 17th century and I think those who created the styles initially were extremely creative. It arose from Renaissance motifs but developed into individual styles based on each district in Norway.

Rosemaling
Inside an old Norwegian Stave Church. I love this blue!
Rosemaling
1766 Chest from Simenrud Fåberg
Norwegian Rosemaling Telemark Technique
Telemark Style rosemaling I painted. The small rose motif to the bottom left has been used by graphic designers with my permission.

Take a look here for the rules and other participants here Lens Artists – Creativity

Something to Ponder About

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What is the Art of the People?

rosemaling

Our identity is rooted in our history and icons from each person’s cultural heritage. Folk art, or the art of the people, comprises one aspect of this cultural heritage. But if folk art represents our history, then this must be constantly evolving and accumulating, with each passing year? It can not, by its nature, be static. As time marches on, so must our cultural heritage.

‘Folk art’ encompasses art produced from an indigenous culture, or by peasants, or other laboring tradespeople. In contrast to fine art, folk art is primarily utilitarian and decorative rather than purely aesthetic. – [Wikipedia]

The art of the people or ‘ folk’ represents a moment in time; it talks of what life was, and is, like, for those folk,or people. Is it important to preserve that for future generations?

marimekko

What is today’s cultural heritage or folk art? Traditional artifacts, or everyday objects and memories that are relevant for individual people?slow cooker

Scandinavian festival

“Even though many objects produced today are mass produced consumables, with a short lifespan, they represent an important pillar for our identity.”

[Valdres FolkeMuseum, Fagernes]
IMG_20140914_113038 (Small)

 

Iconic objects that have strong personal or cultural meaning may also comprise folk art and memorabilia of today’s society.

yeahnah

Some objects may represent passion or tell a story, have some aesthetic frame around people’s lives or have some meaning in a cultural sense.

 

Family 2014 017-001

 

What objects would you include in a museum exhibit from this decade?

What object has meaning to you, in today’s society? What could represent your folk art, or cultural heritage from this decade? Is it a photograph, CD, machine, or artwork?

Please share your thoughts.

 

 

 

Proverbial Thursday –

Proverbial sml

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you will too.

This week I have chosen a proverb that is so meaningful to me. Although it comes from China, it has been my mantra for raising my children and also for sharing with my friends, any skill, they would find useful. It speaks of a very practical approach to life, for where would we be without knowledge, and especially knowledge passed from generation to generation.

 

When someone shares something of value with you and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others – Chinese Proverb

Character is determined more by the lack of certain experiences than by those one has had – Friedrich Nietzsche

Do you agree with Nietzsche’s quote? What do you think of it?

AmandaMarienlyst

Proverbial Thursday gives me Something to Ponder About