The Race: Asian Australian, Part 10

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!

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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9 thoughts on “The Race: Asian Australian, Part 10

    • Yes, Maureen. That is a very good way to put it. I think a lot of us Australians who have an “ethnic” background claim to feel this way. We are proud of being Australian, sharing in the values of mateship and giving everyone a fair go. But at the same time, we have a special spot in our hearts for our heritage.


  1. What a lovely surprise, Mabel, to see you pop up on another blog that I follow, & I enjoyed reading your responses, thoughtful as always.


    • Thanks, for reading Maamej. RACE Around the World as put together by A Holistic Journey is a very insightful project. I feel like I’ve learned more about myself from participating and reading others’ submissions.


  2. I’ve read your interview. I can pretty much relate to all of it myself. The weirdest thing though, is that even though I knew i was different, I felt accepted and at home when I was living in Australia. Later as a teenager and we lived in Brunei, the locals (my age I mean, at school) only saw me as a European/Australian weird thing and never accepted me in their circles.


    • It’s hard to explain why we are accepted in some places and not others. Maybe sometimes it’s the locals around us that make us feel different. Maybe sometimes it’s us. Maybe it was your accent and that’s why the locals in Brunei thought you were a bit weird 🙂


    • Thanks, Evelyn. Being Asian Australian is indeed a confusing and complicated thing. No two Asian Australians have the same story or background, so sometimes I feel very much alone being one. But there’s always similarities in difference and many of us Asian Australians have proudly embraced who we are.


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