Home may be a place that you know well. Or a space that resonates with you. Or something that seems elusive. The feeling of being most at home is a multi-layered, complex construct, and it can be hard to explain.
As someone who is often caught in between Eastern and Western cultures and has lived in different countries surrounded by different languages, no place has ever felt like home to me. About a year ago, an evening stroll inspired me to think a bit more about this thing called home.
Striding down the Princes Bridge, the crisp autumn air picks up. Pulling the zipper up my puffer jacket, it is just another routine evening of sunset photography in Melbourne CBD. The cold is always a familiar part of it at this time of the year in May, no surprises.
There are different styles of learning in Eastern and Western cultures, often very distinct approaches towards learning and education.
Though Eastern and Western countries have contrasting educational systems, it’s not to say one is superior over the other. There is much to be reflected on within both systems, in turn understanding the cultures, beliefs and philosophies that underpin approaches in classrooms and universities.
I went to school in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, and my learning experience in South-East Asia was vastly different compared to Down Under. My classmates, teachers and face-to-face learning in these countries were like chalk and cheese. More recently, this year I am doing an online writing course which is a whole other learning experience altogether.
If you’re an introvert, maybe you don’t like talking on the phone. Maybe you hate making or receiving calls most of the time.
Maybe you feel anxious hearing the ring or buzz of your phone. Or your heart pounds when you’re dialing someone, scattered mind feverishly wondering what’s to come. Or you go out of your way to avoid making phone calls.
Talking on the phone can be a difficult experience for many introverts. Introverts or those with a reserved personality may feel phone calls are performative experiences as opposed to engaging moments. In general, introverts gain energy through reflective activities and time alone while the ones who are extroverted or outgoing thrive on interactions and chattiness.
When you come from an Asian family, there are usually strict cultural norms to live up to. On the occasions you don’t, chances are you probably disappoint your Asian parents.
Different Asian parents, and parents in general, have different expectations of their children. But the benchmark tends to be high in Asian households.
Growing up Asian in Australia, my migrant Chinese parents were strict with a traditional Chinese mindset. They wanted me to be top of the class, work a high paying job and be a smiling demure Chinese girl well-liked for her polite mannerisms. For most part I never lived up to these expectations, much to their disappointment.