Three things that Melbourne beats Sydney in (and vice versa)

Three things that Melbourne beats Sydney in (and vice versa)

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Since moving to Melbourne, the everlasting question of “Is Sydney or Melbourne better?” keeps haunting me…wherever I go.

Mind you, playing safe and answering “Both cities are awesome” does not cut it.

“No, which one is better-pick one?” a typical Melbournian would ask, impatiently anticipating an answer that would give an immense satisfaction.

(I still believe that the reason I got my job was that I answered “Melbourne” in my job interview. I know. A little sneaky.)

This is the very thing I love about Melbourne. It is apparent that Melbournians take a great pride in their city.

Melbournians trust that Melbourne culture is unique…and one of the phrases that you will hear as soon as you step into the city is that “Melbourne is world’s most liveable city” (Apart from the phrase “Four Seasons in a day”).

I have now realised that it is impossible to stay neutral to Melbourne. The vibe demands that you fall in love with the city, take pride in the city. It is almost infectious…and, if it was a disease, I would call it “Melbourne love epidemic”.
The other day as I was browsing the markets, I noticed a large sign that said: “Made in Melbourne”. As I approached it, the woman standing there turned to me and smiled. Noticing my apparent interest in her goods, she said: “Do you know, these are all made here, in Melbourne”. (I know…I couldn’t possibly miss this huge sign). I simply smiled back.

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To sum it up in one sentence, moving to Melbourne is like converting to a new religion.

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So having lived in Melbourne for a few months now, I reserve the right to put in my two cents into the Sydney vs Melbourne debate.

Three things that Melbourne beats Sydney:

  1. The city is beautiful. If you are an architect or an art lover you will quickly notice that every building that is built here, is built with thought and creativity. Also, the way Melbournians have treasured their old sandstone buildings speaks volumes of the Melbourne culture.e
  2. Trams are awesome! I used to think what was the whole fuss about the “trains that are on roads”, but once you get the taste of Melbourne trams, you will avoid other public transport at all costs.
  3. Food. Melbournians know how to cook well. It is very easy to find a new favourite café/restaurant every time you are out.

Three things that make Sydney unbeatable:

  1. Sydney Harbour. It is one of the most beautiful places to be at. You fall in love with this place over and over again…even though it has been featured on every possible postcard and travel advertisement. Nothing compares to sitting near the Harbour and observing the calmness of the water and the reflections of lights from the buildings.
  2. Sydneysiders. They admit that Melbourne is better in order to keep Melbournians happy. The signs and tags here say “Made in Australia”, not “Made in Sydney”.
  3. Sydney University. I may be slightly biased here…but objectively speaking, it is Australia’s oldest University. Its architecture is an icon of Australian ancestry.

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I would like to leave you with this.

I believe that it is not the city or location that counts.

What matters the most are the experiences that you have had, past fleeting moments that make you nostalgic, future hopefulness and anticipation and present adventures…

What matters the most are the people who were once in your life, the people who are there now, and people who you are yet to meet.

Take care xxx

We remember and we demand!

We remember and we demand!

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Making my speech at the Armenian Genocide commemoration night in Sydney (2015)

April 24th, 1915, is etched as one of the darkest days in humanity…

Every year on April 24, I get shivers…thinking of innocent men, women, and children whose lives were destroyed by the atrocities of Ottoman Empire 101 years ago. One and a half million lives…and their generations were destroyed.

April 24 is the remembrance day of the Armenian Genocide, a historical fact that Turkey, unfortunately, continues to deny. Imagine Germany claiming that Holocaust never happened? It is absurd, isn’t it?

In fact, Adolf Hitler cynically used this phrase to justify his horrendous acts:

Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?

Both Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide are historical facts. The only difference is that one is recognised, and one is yet to be recognised.

Twenty-nine countries accept the factuality of the Armenian Genocide. 44 US states do too…and the only two governments that directly deny the historical reality of the Armenian Genocide are Turkey and Azerbaijan.

The injustice is what bothers me. Not the politics. The pain that Armenians still feel is incredible. Each and every year for 101 years Armenians walk to the memorial to show their respect and tribute.

I first visited the memorial 10 years ago. With red tulips in my hand, I slowly made my long walk to the memorial. It was an opportunity to reflect and feel the pain of those who were victims of these atrocities.  This was when I realised that it was my responsibility to remember the past and to demand justice.

 

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Armenian Genocide Memorial

 

I was humbled to be part of the Armenian Genocide Commemoration Night in Sydney, last year and have my say through my speech.

 

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Commemoration night in Sydney