• 2022.04.01
  • Colourful Mardi Gras
Last weekend I was in downtown Sydney for the Mardi Gras parade.
Mardi Gras, also called Fat Tuesday is the Tuesday preceding the beginning of Lent and, in much of the West, is a day dedicated to celebrations, music and allegorical floats.
The Fat Tuesday Parade is the most important and most well-organized carefree and open-minded event in Australia, and when I speak of Australia, I mean by extension all of Southeast Asia, considering the type of event in question. Even before going there, I sensed that I would be pleasantly surprised by this, but, after seeing it with my own eyes what the word integration means, I decided to sit at my desk and write some reflections on it.

First of all, it was great to participate in such an inclusive event after two years of pandemic and restrictions and the Parade was so far the highlight event of 2022.
The Sydney Mardi Gras Parade is a procession of floats, dances, music and costumes that winds through the main streets of the city, cutting across the centre to reach a huge park on the outskirts, where the floats stop and the night parties begin.
The event attracts thousands of partygoers every year and this year was the first post-pandemic.
The whole carnival period and its related events are spread out over almost three weeks of celebrations but the parade with the floats is the closing and main attraction for all.
The floats have a theme which differs from year to year and it is normally a strong political theme or message (This year’s title was “United We Shine”).
Parade attendees are encouraged to dress accordingly and the participating floats are sponsored by dozens of associations representing every type of race and religion, so they integrate anyone. I just used the word integration and not the word tolerance because integration is what I saw: old women and children looking out on balconies to support freedom of choice and the right to personal happiness, people of all colours who, from the edges of the streets, gave high fives and smiled at those who paraded, elderly couples who went down the street wearing some pennants or some sort of coloured bandana to show their happiness in being part of the event.
I also use the word happiness, not membership because one may choose to adhere to a cause, not to a state of nature. I could also mention brotherhood because this is what I witnessed.
I have seen, I said, every type of association parading together: from members of the Jewish community to those of society in support of total atheism, followed closely, in order, by the truck that shamelessly displayed Catholic religious symbols, by the colourful one immediately following it and by that of the local police force immediately behind.
It was simply an inclusive party called Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras, as you prefer.
Here in Australia the term Pride Parade is not used, which I believe is the most self-conceiving one. Underlining the gap that separates a group from the rest of society is, in fact, the most unconscious and dangerous form of marginalization, the biggest obstacle to integration.
The Mardi Gras Parade I saw had no controversy, no censorship, it was absolutely natural and fun for all.
This country has so much to envy Europe from a historical-cultural point of view for instance and the 200 years of Australian history alone are not enough to fill a tremendously noticeable experiential gap with the Old Continent but, as regards tolerance, respect for the fundamental rights of the person, state laicism and open-mindedness Australia is not beat by any country I have been to.



  • Alberto Ferrando
  • Jobcivil engineer

Hello everyone! I’m originally from Italy and I moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2012 after getting a job as a civil engineer. I love walking my dog along the beach, surfing and taking photos. I used to have a travel blog because I’m passionate about traveling and I love writing about it too. Sydney is my home base now and I wish to share how amazing it is to live here. I love to spend time outdoors and I’m always well informed about local events because my girlfriend works in event management.

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