Blogging isn’t always easy. It can be a lot of work with quite a few lessons along the way.
This month marks five years since I started this blog about multiculturalism, being Asian Australian and cultural stereotypes. Reflecting on this milestone, I never anticipated this blog would still be going today. I also never imagined my blog would have a bit of a following and helped me become a better writer. To be honest, blogging has been challenging.
The more you blog, the more your blog becomes a notable part of your life. The more you blog, the more you realise it can be hard keeping up the blog and juggling it with the rest of your life – but it’s doable. Here are some valuable, reality-check lessons that I’ve learned from being a blogger.
When we speak of introverts, we often think of those who are quiet. There’s the common stereotype that if we’re Asian, we’re quiet and passive, and perhaps introverted too.
I’ve been every bit the introvert my whole life. As a Chinese Australian who feels too Asian to be Australian and too Australian to be Asian, countless occasions I feel I don’t fit in – but ironically I love being on my own.
Race. Ethnicity. These are two words that seem similar. But they are two words that mean different things.
When I studied cultural studies at university, the terms ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’ often appeared within academic texts that I read. The more I read about these two words, the more I realised they are more complicated than they sound.
Commonly, ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’ encompass grouping and categorisation. But each word is its own concept. As people and culture change, history and stories rewrite themselves; each word builds upon lessons of the past and revelations of the present.
Concerts are something special. Whether we’re a regular concert goer or someone who occasionally enjoys live music, there’s always something memorable about each performance that we attend, see and feel.
Over the last few years, I’ve gone to more music concerts than I can count: pop and rock 30,000 stadium capacity shows, intimate independent artist gigs, classical symphony orchestra performances, music festivals, both seated and general-admission standing shows.
Music concerts are where we lose ourselves in the moment. Green Day, 2017 | Weekly Photo Challenge: Collage of concerts and that Unusual, out of the ordinary show.
At the time of writing, the last concert I went to was Green Day earlier this year. I’m quite a fan of this punk-pop-rock band and grew up listening to their music since the early 90s. Oddly enough, rock concerts never appealed to me. It wasn’t until the night before the band’s second Melbourne concert a few months ago that I got tickets on a whim.
If you live in Australia or have travelled around Australia, chances are you’ve heard the word ‘mate’ a lot here. For instance, you might’ve heard, ‘G’day, mate’ or ‘How ya doin’, mate?’
Living in Melbourne, I’ve friends from different backgrounds, different ethnicities and different age groups living different lifestyles. Western, Asian, Indian, hippies, hipsters, corporate business types, baby boomer types – so many of them say ‘mate’ all the time.
The idea of ‘mateship’ goes hand-in-hand with the word ‘mate’. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, very broadly ‘mateship’ is ‘an Australian code of conduct that emphasizes egalitarianism and fellowship’. Throughout Australian history and up until today, saying ‘mate’ is a mark of Aussie culture:
‘I love you’. Just three words. But three words some typical Asians like those of Chinese heritage find hard to say out loud when it comes to dating and romantic relationships.
There’s this common stereotype: Asians are reserved about expressing romantic sentiments towards each other. In a progressive world where traditional and modern perspectives collide, sometimes this is still true, and sometimes not.
There are different degrees of love, physical and emotional. Different ways of expressing romantic love during different moments – depending on our personality, the ways we are actually comfortable expressing it and what we believe in. Personally, I’m reserved about my love life and won’t be sharing my serious relationships here; it isn’t the whole world’s business.