My Korean Husband

Intercultural Life

Tag: australian history

Bridge

Bridge

European settlement in Australia began not much more than 200 years ago so what we view as old isn’t that old for most other countries! Aboriginal history is long and interesting and very important, but Aboriginal people didn’t build big structures that lasted, so something that is considered old in Australia… isn’t that old. I love history so I’m excited when I’m in Korea and see buildings that are hundreds and hundreds of years old. You just can’t experience that in Australia. Which is why as I walked past a bridge and saw the date it was built I thought that was cool. My husband was there to remind me about Korea though. Australia can’t win in this competition.

So what about your country?

Hyde Park Barracks Video

This was filmed before we came to Korea. We are taking advantage of fast Korean internet speeds and uploaded as much stuff as we can. So let’s take a break from all the Korean stuff and go back to Australia for a short time!

We have visited Hyde Park Barracks before and it wasn’t that scary, but when we went the other week it was such a rainy miserable day and it made the Barracks seem really scary! There weren’t that many people when we went and it was quite eerie being in old rooms that once housed convicts.

We thought we’d give you a video with some Australian history because videos are going to be all Korea for a while.

Some people might already know a bit about Australian history but I hope we can impart a little bit of information for those that don’t. I think it’s important to understand that most convicts weren’t bad people. Usually they were born into poverty and resorted to crime to survive. Around the time that convicts were first sent to Australia there were over 200 crimes in Britain punishable by death. This was because of the Bloody Code (when there were very harsh punishments for many minor crimes) but by the 1800’s the death penalty was thought to be too harsh, so transportation (sent to Australia) was seen as the best alternative.

Until recent decades there was a stigma about having convict ancestors, but these days people are quite interested and proud of it. I think I have an ancestor who came out on the Second Fleet. Her crime was very minor as well. I think it might have been just stealing bread or a piece of fabric.

By the 1840’s convicts were no longer being transported to Sydney, so Hyde Park Barracks became an immigration depot for mostly young single Irish women (Ireland was devastated by famines). These women, most had lost their families, waited at the Hyde Park Barracks until they were hired for their services. Then in the 1850’s the barracks were used to house the newly arrived wives and children of convicts. In the 1860’s it was a government asylum for sick and destitute women and then eventually it became government offices until 1979.

What is really interesting about this building is that it is a museum about itself as well. On display are so many objects that were found in the building, particularly under floorboards. Things like pipes, clothing, games… you can see all these things there, as well as the tunnels made by rats over many many decades.

I really love history so I can go on for ages. We didn’t want to make a video that was like a documentary which is why a lot of serious stuff was cut out and we left the silly stuff in. But I hope you enjoyed because we like doing stuff like this and we hope we can show more about both Australian and Korean culture.

 

Hyde Park Barracks

I really love history and try to visit historic sites whenever I can. We visited the Hyde Park Barracks in Sydney last year. It was built in 1819 for convict men and boys and is an important part of Australia’s convict history. It is now a museum but has a large room filled with hammocks that showed the sleeping conditions of convicts- emphasizing that it was many smelly men all crammed in. So not exactly a pleasant place to sleep.

Sometimes things just go over my husband’s head though. Especially when everything is in English and he is tired.

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