With COVID-19 racing across the world, it’s become a different reality overnight.
Some of us feel fear hearing COVID-19 cases rise in other countries. Feel uncertainty as toilet paper disappears from the shelves at the grocery store around the corner.
For some of us Asian-Australians, we feel the slap of racism once again amidst this pandemic.
Melbourne Central (MC) 2020 (1)
Being an Asian-Australian who once aspired to be a journalist in Australia, it’s disappointing seeing recent anti-Asian sentiments in the media and racist incidents on the streets. It’s undoubtedly disappointing seeing certain cultural groups get accused of spreading coronavirus.
Coffee and drinking coffee is something Australians are all too familiar with. Australia’s coffee culture is unique, with different ways of drinking coffee and different kinds of coffee drunk throughout the day.
Although I’ve lived in Australia for half my life, I don’t drink coffee. Certainly I’m no where near a coffee connoisseur and my tastebuds aren’t fined tuned to suss out the finest of coffees and Arabica beans.
When I moved back to Australia about a decade ago, the typical Aussie ‘hellos’ confused me. When someone greeted me in Australian-speak, it always took a moment for me to realise that they were actually saying hi to me.
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:
As someone who was born in Australia and has lived here for most of my life, some stereotypes, myths and perceptions about Australians ring true. And some don’t.
Australia is a diverse country, with the outback and city side by side as I wrote in this blog post about the geographic land of Oz itself. Naturally, Australians are a pretty diverse bunch in general, diverse in terms of what they like, the way they choose to live their lives and who they chose to be.