The Racism And Discrimination Asian Australians Put Up With

If we’re Asian Australian, chances are we’ve faced racism as we live our lives in Australia. That is, chances are life is hard on some occasions because of our cultural background.

As an Asian Australian who has lived in Melbourne for most of my life, racism is something that I’ve experienced for as long as I can remember. Each racist moment I’ve experienced is memorable, unforgettable.

Racism is left, right and centre, and within.

Racism is left, right and centre, and within | Weekly Photo Challenge: Twisted.

Racism and discrimination come in different shapes and forms. When we speak of racism, there’s the idea that a certain racial group, a certain skin colour or certain culture-specific traits are superior over others.

Continue reading

Advertisements

What Does Home Mean And Feel Like For A Third Culture Kid?

Home. It sounds like a simple word to define. But it’s a word that has layers and layers of meanings.

For many migrants, third culture kids, parachute families, expats, travellers, interracial couples, refugees, asylum seekers, Asian Australians, Asian Americans, African communities, Indian diaporas and really anyone who has moved around or hangs around different cultural groups, home can be hard to define. Home can be more than one place.

Home is a place and all that space around us.

Home is a place and all that space around us.

There’s always a personal connection to home and each of us understands home differently. What is ‘home’ to someone may not be ‘home’ to someone else.

Continue reading

What Is The Difference Between ‘Race’ And ‘Ethnicity’ In A Changing World?

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.

Endless faces of race and ethnicity | Weekly Photo Challenge: Elemental.

Endless faces of race and ethnicity | Weekly Photo Challenge: Elemental.

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.

Continue reading

8 Common Stereotypes And Misconceptions About Australians

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.

Australia, a land where Australians are all shapes, sizes and personalities | Weekly Photo Challenge: Ambience.

Australia, a land where Australians are all shapes, sizes and personalities | Weekly Photo Challenge: Ambience.

There is the tendency to think of the average, person-next-door Australian like this:

Continue reading

Reasons Why The Question “Where Are You From?” Is Offensive. And Not Offensive

Time and time again, some of us get the question, “Where are you from?” We might dislike this question, or we might not. It’s a matter of perspective, or rather how we’re feeling in a moment in time that we decide if we like or hate the question there and then.

Chances are if we’re migrants, immigrants, refugees, third culture kids, expats or find ourselves part of a cultural minority community (think an Asian Australian in Australia, an Asian American in the States, we’re much more likely to hear the question. So too if we’re some place where our skin colour, accent or hair style sticks out from the rest.

Sometimes when someone asks where we come from, we feel small | Weekly Photo Challenge: Tiny.

Sometimes when someone asks where we come from, we feel small | Weekly Photo Challenge: Tiny.

A while back I wrote a blog post on the different answers to this question. It’s a question carrying quite a few assumptions, a question I’ve been asked all my life as an Australian-born Chinese living in different countries such as Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. Sometimes it rubs me the wrong way. Sometimes it amuses me.

Continue reading

Is It Time For A New Australian Flag?

Some say yes and some say no to a new Australian flag. There are countless arguments for and against this discussion, especially when Australia Day comes around each year and Australians reflect on what our country and flag mean to us.

Our current flag was chosen through a national competition in 1901. 32,823 entries were submitted and a panel of judges declared five entrants who presented similar designs as the winners. That was a while ago. As someone who is lucky to live in an Australia in a time where there are world class facilities and a multicultural population, sometimes I wonder: does our current flag truly represent Australia today?

Sometimes a flag unites us, and sometimes a flag divides us.

Sometimes a flag unites us, and sometimes a flag divides us | Weekly Photo Challenge: Circle.

There is a blue ensign and red ensign; under the Flags Act 1953 the former was officially chosen as our national emblem. The symbolic elements making up the Australian flag are the:

Continue reading