It’s no secret many of us love eating sushi today.
Sushi seems to be as popular as McDonalds. Sushi shops are literally located all over Melbourne. There is one practically every one or two blocks in the CBD selling takeaway sushi. Japanese restaurants are aplenty too, some serving sushi on huge sharing platters.
Sushi is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia where people mixed fish with rice in order to preserve the seafood. This spread to Japan around the 8th Century; eating fish with rice was popular with the Japanese. From then on, the Japanese experimented and created different types of sushi and this cuisine eventually spread around the world.
What exactly is sushi’s appeal? Why do so many Asians, Westerners and other races like eating sushi all the time?
Happy New Year. 2014 is here, a year which most of us are hoping will be an enjoyable one.
I’m sure some of us are already tearing our hair out at failing to cut down on hearty food or failing to be more organised people on these first few days of the brand new year. Resolutions down the drain and we’re feeling pretty lousy.
It’s officially the last few days of 2013. On the 31st, lots of Melbournians will pack locations with crystal clear views of the city’s skyline, count down to midnight and view bombastic, colourful fireworks displays, welcoming 2014.
There’ll be similar celebrations around the world. New Zealanders will be the first to usher in the New Year and feast their eyes on vivid explosions of fires in the skies. Those in Malaysia will get to see fireworks erupt around the Petronas Twin Towers.
Fireworks in the sky in Melbourne. It’s hard to take our eyes off fireworks, something that we don’t see too often. Photo: Mabel Kwong
There’ll be fireworks in Hong Kong too. And in Dubai. London. New York. Los Angeles. We all love fireworks, don’t we? It doesn’t matter if we’re Chinese, Indian, American, Spanish or any other race. When there are fireworks above us, we’ll face skywards. Why?
Asian girl and Caucasian guy. Hand in hand walking down the street. It’s a sight that’s becoming more and more common in public these days.
Sometimes these are scenes of true love. Sometimes these two people of different heritage are attracted to each other purely because of the “exotic cultural difference aura” hanging in the air between them.
Love is complex. Inter-racial love is perhaps even more complex. Photo: Mabel Kwong
Just how do both these kinds of Asian-girl-white-guy relationships work?
I was recently invited to give a talk at Kurunjang Secondary College on what it means to be “different”, an Asian Australian living in a predominantly white Australia.
As I walked to the front of the Year 12 class on a crisp winter morning, I noticed about twenty odd Caucasian and Asian students staring back at me from behind their desks. Some of them had Melbourne lawyer/writer Alice Pung’s Growing Up Asian In Australia in front of them, one of the texts they were studying for their upcoming final high school English exams.
The teacher shook my hand and I introduced myself to the class. I launched into a story about how as a kid living in the eastern suburbs, I rarely felt part of a group; all my Caucasian classmates refused to share their Shapes with me during lunch and my mum refused to buy these biscuits for me as I, according to her, was supposed to “eat Asian food”.
The “Australian dream” is a longstanding marker that has always been used to describe the so-called successful Australian person.
An Australian is said to live the “Australian dream” or the “Great Australian Dream” if they own a house with a backyard in the suburbs. Such a person who lives this dream is deemed a respected person. A respected person who most likely speaks with the Australian accent. A respected person who most likely grew up in a predominantly Anglo suburb and went to public school. A respected person who is a middle-aged Caucasian adult holding a stable job in a company run by high-paying Caucasian executives so as to support the family and pay off the mortgage.
Some living the Australian dream like to model their houses after traditional architectural styles. A miniature house in ‘Tudor Village’ in Melbourne’s Fitzroy Gardens. Photo: Mabel Kwong
There’s seems to be an air of “whiteness” associated with the “Australian dream” and that’s why I don’t favour the phrase too much.