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   The burning XML-DEV question of Where is Australia? (was Re: [xml-dev] A

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From: "Thomas B. Passin" <tpassin@comcast.net>

> Rick, does an Australian count as a "Westerner"?   
> If not, what is the best term, since it surely could not be "Asian"?
Call us whatever you like: we don't care :-)   Some Asians think we are
Asian, some think we are not, too. 

The further one gets from one's home country, the more unnecessary 
is all that detail on maps!  The other side of the globe should always be a
comfortable blur. (I suspect most Australians would not be able to point out 
Washington D.C. on a map.)  Actually, there is a growing trend here to have 
the South at the top of maps, rather than the North, to protect our youth
from northern-centricism or slights to our continental dignity.

Over here, our rough mental geography is probably less based on hemispheres and 
more based on oceans: Pacific Rim countries (amiable, but prone to stealing our fish), 
Mediterranean countries (nice weather and old things, bad plumbing), Atlantic countries 
(good tennis tournaments, but what's with the power/class/success trips?), and 
Indian Ocean countries (saved us from British cooking, but don't drink the water dear). 

I think generally Australians would be happy to be considered just part of the South 
Pacific, with Fiji, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand,  Tahiti, Tonga, East Timor, 
New Caledonia, etc.: the other countries with indigenous aboriginal, 
polynesian or melanesian populations.  "Australasia" or "Oceana".  
Geographically fairly Southern, economically fairly Eastern, culturally fairly 
Western and ethnically fairly Northern: your call.

In the long term (when Australia joins son-of-NAFTA, after the Euro takes over 
from the US$ as the top trading currency, after oil-producers adopt the Euro to punish 
US imperialism and after the East Asian countries run out of funds for stockpiling 
US$ to protect their exports),  I expect we will become even more American 
and hence less Asian geo-politically, even as our population become more Asian. 
Think Vancouver with kangaroos.

Rick Jelliffe


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