ANZAC Day is here again

This is a busy week, but despite that I am making time to go to the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at the Australian Embassy on Friday morning. If you don’t know what the Dawn Service is, I recommend you read my ANZAC Day post from last year, where I explain the way this Australian memorial day (and public holiday) is celebrated in Beijing.

This year ANZAC Day comes with terrible timing. That night I have a graduation I really want to be at, and early the next morning we start the annual youth conference – my last big youth event in Beijing. So yeah, not a convenient time to be getting up at 4am and heading into the city. But it’s important to me that I go to the Dawn Service one last time.

When talking about transition, and especially about leaving a place you’ve lived a long time, a common theme is the need to “say goodbye” – not just to people, but to places. I guess for me the Dawn Service falls under that category. It’s the one thing I’ve done during a decade in Beijing that was uniquely, set-apart, Australian. I love the quietness, the respect. I love the switch from solemnity to celebration over breakfast, and coffee with Bundy. I love the meaning inherent in that switch – in sharing both silence and fellowship.

WebAnd while I’ll be groaning when I get up in the morning, I know I’ll be glad I went.

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4 thoughts on “ANZAC Day is here again

  1. I saw a recipe for a cookie that was called the ANZAC cookie – why is there one associated with the holiday? Is there significance or is it more of a “my mom always made these on…?

    • There’s actually a historical connection! I remember learning about it in primary school. The story goes that recipes for biscuits (cookies) similar to the modern ANZAC biscuit were developed during World War I by mothers/wives back home who wanted to send care packages to their sons/husbands fighting overseas. They worked around food rationing that was in force while trying to create something sweet and nourishing that would last the long sea journey to the front lines of the war. The result was a biscuit made with oats and coconut and golden syrup (similar to molasses) but no eggs, and boiling water to help bind the dough. My mum’s recipe calls for oats, flour, sugar, coconut, golden syrup, butter, bicarb, salt, and boiling water.

  2. I enjoyed reading your posts Tanya, particularly your detailed summary of the ANZAC Day service from last year. For those of us here at the Australian Embassy involved in arranging the ANZAC Day dawn service each year, it is quite touching to hear of the significance the expat community places in coming along to participate. Thanks for making the effort to travel in to share with us this year.

    • Thanks, I appreciate that. I’m so grateful for the work that goes into making the Dawn Service happen – it really is a special event.

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