Today January 26th, was the National Day of two countries, Australia and India.

1) Australia Day per Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia_Day

“Australia Day (previously known as Anniversary Day, Foundation Day and ANA Day), and also referred to as Invasion Day by several groups within Australian society, is the official national day of Australia. Celebrated annually on 26 January, the day commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788, the hoisting of the British flag there, and the proclamation of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia.

For some Australians, particularly Indigenous Australians, Australia Day has become a symbol for adverse effects of British settlement on Australia’s Indigenous people. The celebrations in 1938 were accompanied by an Aboriginal Day of Mourning. (Sympathies many Native Americans of the US share about my countries founders)

Although it was not known as Australia Day until over a century later, records of celebrations on 26 January date back to 1808, with Governor Lachlan Macquarie having held the first official celebration of the formation of New South Wales in 1818. In 2004, an estimated 7.5 million people attended Australia Day celebrations and functions across the country.”

The unofficial national anthem of Australia is of course “Waltzing Matilda” written in 1887 by Banjo Paterson.

Slim Dusty – Waltzing Matilda

2) Republic Day of India commemorates the date on which the Constitution of India came into force replacing the Government of India Act of 1935 as the governing document of India on January 26, 1950.

From Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_Day_(India)

Although India obtained its independence on August 15, 1947, it did not yet have a permanent constitution; instead, its laws were based on the modified colonial Government of India ACT of 1935, and the country was a Dominion, with George VI, with George VI as head of state and Earl Mountbatten as Governor General. On August 29, 1947, the Drafting Committee was appointed to draft a permanent constitution, with Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar as chairman.

A draft Constitution was prepared by the committee and submitted to the Assembly on November 4, 1947. The Assembly met, in sessions open to public, for 166 days, spread over a period of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days before adopting the Constitution. After many deliberations and some modifications, the 308 members of the Assembly signed two hand-written copies of the document (one each in Hindi and English) on January 24, 1950. Two days later, the Constitution of India became the law of all the Indian lands. The Constitution of India  came into effect only on January 26, 1950, 10.18 AM IST. Following elections on January 21, 1950, Rajendra Prasad was elected as the president of India. The Indian National Congress and other parties had been celebrating January 26th as a symbol of Independence, even before India actually became independent. Thus, signing the constitution on January 26, to mark and respect January 26 and the freedom struggle and the freedom fighters.”

The song “Mera Joota hai Japan (translation My Shoes are Japanese), a Hindi song composed by Skankar Jaikishan was widely embraced in its time as a representation of the newly sovereign nation of India.  

From Wikipedia:

“The songs first and most famous appearance was in the movie Shree 420 where it was picturised on the popular Bollywood star Raj Kapoor. The opening lines are:

Mera Joota hai Japani
Yeh Patloon Inglistani
Sar pe lal topi Rusi
Phir bhi dil hai Hindustani

which translates to

My shoes are Japanese
These trousers are English
The red hat on my head is Russian
But even then, my heart is Indian

Raj Kapoor – Mera Joota Hai Japani

What is your favorite patriotic song(s)?

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