The Race: Asian Australian, Part 10

Mabel Kwong:

Normally I don’t do reblogs, but today I want to share A Holistic’s Journey’s ‘RACE Around The World’. Check out all the submissions about race and identity, worth reading!

Originally posted on A Holistic Journey:

1) How do you define yourself racially or ethnically and why is it important to you? Please tell us about the racial makeup of your family if you were adopted or come from a colorful family.

I was born in Australia to very traditional Chinese-Malaysian parents. The word “Malaysian” refers to a nationality. There are predominantly three races living in Malaysia – Chinese, Malay and Indian. A very long time ago, the Chinese came and settled in Malaysia. My grandparents – and many generations before them – were born in Malaysia. My relatives and extended family don’t know where our ancestors originated. We don’t talk about Chinese history but the history of Malaysia. We’ve always considered ourselves Chinese people living in Malaysia. We don’t identify with China the country but with Chinese culture. Chinese Malaysian is similar to the term, say, Korean American.

Melbourne

Melbourne

When I was growing up in Melbourne…

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What Do We Think Of When We Meet People?

It’s always interesting meeting strangers on the street. It can be exciting. Awkward. Maybe a little scary.

The other afternoon I was taking photos of Federation Square in the city, minding my own business.

"Hi". "Hello" Words that are perceived differently by different people that we meet | Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective.

“Hi”. “Hello” Words that are perceived differently by different people that we meet | Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective.

“Excuse me? Can you take a photo of me?”

I turned around. The summer-in-autumn sun shone right into my face. Eyes squinting, I made out a tall, dark-skinned guy towering over me, compact camera in hand. Why are you looking at me? Why are you coming towards me? Right. Photo.

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When Is It Okay To Wear Cultural Costumes?

A few months ago, I was wandering through Bourke Street Mall on a summer’s Saturday afternoon and spied some buskers wearing traditional cultural attire (photo).

I wondered if anyone saw this scene as racist.

Three buskers, three instruments and three Sri Lankan outfits. | Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes.

Three buskers, three instruments and three Sri Lankan outfits. | Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes.

I stopped to watch. It stuck me as odd that they were wearing sunglasses with their outfits.

There are two scenarios when it comes to wearing cultural clothing: us wearing our own culture’s traditional clothes and us wearing another culture’s traditional clothes.

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