The King of Saudi Arabia passed away yesterday at the age of 90. Today some ex-pats are about to celebrate Australia day, which commemorates the first British fleet to arrive at the BIG island, more specifically Port Jackson in 1788.
So what does these two have days have in common? Absolutely nothing. Unless you are in Dubai.
The clash of cultures are evident in the way these two countries choose to remember the events.
I get the impression that the Australian youth, and those young at heart, would like to spend the day partying. Partying would involve friends and beer. Any party planner worth his money will tell you that the secret to a memorable party would the right crowd, the right location and the right music.
Dubai on the other hand, choose to show respect for the recently deceased king by not allowing any public/open air venue to play any music. See the problem? Irony has dictated that this period of silence would be for three days, which is exactly the same amount of time I am spending in this country.
Fosters (an Australian beer brand) is promoting the consumption of the local stuff by handing out hats and flip-flops left, right and center. There is not a person in sight who’s not wearing something blue. Not that these ex-pats need any more motivation to drink. This desire comes from within. Here we have a great crowd that has flocked to an excellent venue…without music. A joyous event dampened by silence.
It might not sound like a big deal, but have you ever been to a bar without music? The only thing you hear is the buzz of people talking.
And it got me thinking, for if it did not, it would be senseless post. I wasn’t alive when Kennedy was assassinated, well maybe I was, but I don’t remember it. Sorry, I’m forty and my memory is failing. But I was here when Nelson Mandela died. My question is this: How does the Western world celebrate the life of our great leaders, other than making a movie about it?
I don’t recall an imposed period of silence but you have to admit there is something noble about the gesture. Or maybe it’s just me.
I’m not saying that it should or shouldn’t be done, I’m #justsaying.
At least they still have 26 January this year, which is the actual Australia day.