As a person of Chinese descent who has lived in different places and acquaints myself with various cultures, I am always discriminated by people of the same race as I am.
To put it more simply, I am a Chinese-Australian who often see other Chinese people, especially those from East Asia, constantly distancing themselves from me.
Distancing themselves from me because at times I do not fulfil the conventional Chinese/Asian persona as a result of having resided in many countries and having several cultures rub off my personality.
A lot of times, it seems that all of us of the same race, e.g. Asians, seem to get along well. But sometimes underneath a peaceful facade, racism towards one another can be rife. Photo by Mabel Kwong.
There is no one universal definition of racism and it is known to exist in varied forms. The phrase “racial discrimination” has come to mean any exclusion or preference based on race, ethnicity and colour, nullifying the exercise of equal footing as one group asserts superiority over another.
In such a globalised world, it’s common to find cultural festivals on show every now and then around us today. When ethnic festivals pop up in a Western city, words that spring to mind when we think about them include, ‘traditional customs’, ‘diverse cultures’ and ‘multicultural’.
But looking closely at cultural festivals, at times these culturally vibrant shindigs that often attract people of all walks of life in attendance do not wholly perpetuate the ideals of multiculturalism.
The JCAF 2012. Acoustic Japanese music performance by Shigeo Furukawa and Claire Jackson on stage. Photo by Sue Chen.
The gist of multiculturalism is about interacting and getting along harmoniously with our friends, colleagues and acquaintances of culturally diverse backgrounds and learning to respect the beliefs and customs of our fellow citizens no matter their religion.