Sunday, 26 August 2007

Citizenship test?

I heard this on the news at work.

Australia will be introducing a citizenship test

Now we are more like the Americans and Canadians.

People will have to know something about Australia like our Capital city (Canberra) or what is on our coat of arms (Kangaroo and Emu, but I know that because we also eat them (but I haven't had Emu yet, I guess it might taste like big chicken...))

One of the funnier ones involves our national anthem.

As a semi sidetrack I will point out that our national anthem is called Advance Australia Fair.

The two verses that are sung are:

Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;
We've golden soil and wealth for toil,
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in Nature's gifts
Of beauty rich and rare;
In history's page, let every stage
Advance Australia fair!
In joyful strains then let us sing,
"Advance Australia fair!"
Beneath our radiant southern Cross,
We'll toil with hearts and hands;
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who've come across the seas
We've boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing
"Advance Australia fair!"
That is the entire anthem.

Now there are some small things that you have to note. The first is that in official events you sit and listen to them play the tune once through and then you sing the first verse.

The second is that most Australians don't know the anthem.

I know both verses because I used to sing in a Choir (when I still had that young boys voice) and at big events we would sing the anthem, both verses.

The Age has 20 of the possible 200 questions that may be asked. The test has 20 out of a possible 200 that can be asked so if you are a person trying to become a citizen maybe you should learn these ones and hope you are lucky...

Anyway number four is:

4. What is the first line of Australia's national anthem?

What makes this funny is that, unlike in the US where my understanding is that an immigrant will know more about their constitution then an American, an immigrant who wants to become an Australian will learn the part of the national anthem that most Australians know.

So we will pretty much all be equal.

When you listen to a country sing it's national anthem you can usually make out what they are saying (unless you don't understand the language that well). Lets choose a national anthem almost at random. The German one.

Germans know their national anthem, many also know the first verse, the one they aren't allowed to sing.

What the Germans use as their national anthem is the third verse which is this:

Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
für das deutsche Vaterland!
Danach laßt uns alle streben
brüderlich mit Herz und Hand!
Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
sind des Glückes Unterpfand;
Blüh im Glanze dieses Glückes,
blühe, deutsches Vaterland.

Now you will pretty much understand what they are going on about here.

Compare that to what you would hear from the Australians. I once heard this as a joke but it is perfectly true:

Australians all let us rejoice
For we ar yun an re
Wi gowden soi an welf for toil
Our ome e girt i c

I would continue but I don't know how to exactly write it down. It is more of an unintelligible drawl in tune to the music. So really an immigrant needs to know the first verse, how to sound like they are singing and know where to put the word 'girt' which most don't know what it means (surrounded/encircled/etc.) but seem to be able to sing clearly.

Probably because girt doesn't make a good drawl sound.

I think there should be an even easier citizenship test. They learn the national anthem and then have to sing it to people. If they sing it clearly and well then they aren't allowed in and if they can't sing it we welcome them into the fold.

It is like Tripod's "New Aussie Anthem"

So we all need to raise our voice and say:
(mumble mumble mumble mumble)... ay!
The rest of the questions are:

In what year did Federation take place?

A: 1901, January 1st to be exact.

2. Which day of the year is Australia Day?

A: January 26th

3. Who was the first Prime Minister of Australia?

A: Edmund Barton. Not many people know that in fact more people know the first president of the US, so the government ran some commercials in 2000-1 so inform people about our first PM.

5. What is the floral emblem of Australia?

A: The Wattle if I remember correctly, that is where we get the sporting colours of green and gold.

6. What is the population of Australia?

A: Last time I checked it was about 21 million.

7. In what city is the Parliament House of the Commonwealth Parliament located?

A: Canberra, the city of too many roundabouts and not enough traffic lights.

8. Who is the Queen's representative in Australia?

A: The Governor General, but I don't know his name.

9. How are Members of Parliament chosen?

A: Election

10. Who do Members of Parliament represent?

A: I guess the correct answer is the people, but I think for many the party they are from is more apt.

11. After a federal election, who forms the new government?

A: For the last 10 years a 'coalition'. And I suspect that it will be the same again after this years election. It is whoever has the majority of seats in Parliament.

12. What are the colours on the Australian flag?

A: Blue, white, red

13. Who is the head of the Australian Government?

A: The Prime Minister, who is currently called John but if Labor is lucky the PM will be called Kevin. Could you imagine the insults? Ruddy Kevin Rudd...

14. What are the three levels of government in Australia?

A: Local, state, federal

15. In what year did the European settlement of Australia start?

A: Officially 1788, when the First Fleet arrived.

16. Serving on a jury if required is a responsibility of Australian citizenship: true or false?

A: Apparently

17. In Australia, everyone is free to practise the religion of their choice, or practise no religion: true of false?

A: True, unless you are a Muslim then you can practice your religion but will also face insults for being a Muslim by the racist yobs.

18. To be elected to the Commonwealth Parliament you must be an Australian citizen: true or false?

A: True. Which is why I am divided on the Shane Warne becoming a German thing. I mean I don't want him to become a German because he is jerk, and it will reflect badly on me here due to cricket loving bogans (Oh you're German, just like Shane Warne...) but I don't really want him to go into Australian politics which is apparently something that he wants to do.

19. As an Australian citizen, I have the right to register my baby born overseas as an Australian citizen: true or false?

A: I wouldn't know. I think that is true.

20. Australian citizens aged 18 years or over are required to enrol on the electoral register: true or false?

A: True, however in South Australia you are on;y required by law to enrol on the federal register not the state one, but we aren't given the option of not registering on the state register.

Who knows, maybe I got the 12 out of 20 to pass the test...

I think this is my first post where I have used both 'Musings' and 'Silliness' as a tag...

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