Australia's ANZAC Day - the Birth of a Nation
ANZAC Day in essence commemorates the moment of birth of the nationhood of both Australia and New Zealand. On the 25th of April 1915, ANZAC troops landed on the beaches of Gallipoli Turkey in one of the biggest disasters in military history. The actions of the ANZAC troops during the campaign bequeathed an intangible but powerful legacy.
Some Wikipedia comments:
The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) was a First World War of the that was formed in in 1915 and operated during the . General commanded the corps, which comprised troops from the and . The corps was disbanded in 1916 following the Allied evacuation of the Gallipoli peninsula and the formation of and .
The Anzac spirit or Anzac legend is a concept which suggests that and soldiers possess shared characteristics, specifically the qualities those soldiers allegedly exemplified on the battlefields of . These qualities cluster around several ideas, including endurance, courage, ingenuity, good humour, , and . According to this concept, the soldiers are perceived to have been innocent and fit, and , irreverent in the face of authority, naturally and disdainful of differences.
The Anzac spirit also tends to capture the idea of an Australian and New Zealand "national character", with the often described as the moment of birth of the nationhood both of Australia and of New Zealand.
Anzac Day is a national public holiday and is considered by many Australians to be one of the most solemn days of the year. Marches by veterans from all past wars, as well as current serving members of the and Reserves, with allied veterans as well as the and and supported by members of, , and other uniformed service groups, are held in cities and towns nationwide. The Anzac Day March from each state capital is televised live with commentary. These events are generally followed by social gatherings of veterans, hosted either in a or in an club, often including a traditional Australian gambling game called , which was an extremely popular pastime with ANZAC soldiers. In most Australian states and territories, gambling is forbidden outside of licensed venues. However, due to the significance of this tradition, two-up is legal only on Anzac Day.
Two-up is a traditional game, involving a designated "spinner" throwing two coins or pennies into the air. Players gamble on whether the coins will fall with both heads (obverse) up, both tails (reverse) up, or with one coin a head, and one a tail (known as "odds"). It is traditionally played on in pubs and clubs throughout Australia, in part to mark a shared experience with through the ages.
An Anzac biscuit is a sweet popular in Australia and New Zealand made using , flour, coconut, sugar, butter, , and boiling water. Anzac biscuits have long been associated with the (ANZAC) established in .
It has been claimed the biscuits were sent by wives to soldiers abroad because the ingredients do not spoil easily and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation. Today, Anzac biscuits are manufactured commercially for retail sale.
Notably, Anzac biscuit recipes omit because of the scarcity of eggs during the war (after most farmers joined the war effort) and so that the biscuits would not spoil when shipped long distances.
The recipe for ANZAC biscuits is shown on hakanmaki.info under trivia on the Travel Information site for Australia.
The movie Gallipoli, starring a very young Mel Gibson, is the movie that portrays well the qualities mentioned above under ANZAC Spirit. The extras are also well worth watching. In the movie a lot of “strine” is spoken so you might want to consult Goway’s Downunder Dictionary.
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