Australian + Scottish + Cypriot + Korean + Chinese = Australia Day

Image One of the things I love about multicultural Australia is the abundance of different cuisines, cultures and customs we have around us. I am Australian. It says so on my birth certificate and passport. But being Australian isn’t something I was born with. Many of you will know and many more won’t know that I am adopted.

At four months old I was brought over to this great country from The Republic of South Korea into the arms of a somewhat controversial coupling (even in 1984) of an Australian mother married to my Chinese father.

Today, we are celebrating this day off with a Cypriot lady married to an Australian man, a Cypriot lady (yes, they are sisters) married to a Scottish man, an Australian couple with an adopted Thai son, me and my Mum and Dad. Our Lebanese neighbours popped by and so did our Irish neighbour and her Lebanese husband.

I like to think of us as doing the United Nations proud.

Yes, there is still racism in this great country of many cultures. Fortunately I’ve not experienced enough to even talk about but I know people who have and I’ve read the stories of people who are. I admire Dr Teo for his courage and wisdom in speaking openly about its existence today. It would be a foolish person to think we had overcome this shameful belief that cultures different to ours deserve to be spat on. And we must acknowledge it exists between all cultures, not just the obvious anglo versus ‘ethnic’ in the Cronulla/Brighton-Le-Sands riots sense.

But I did not start this post with the intention of bringing up racism. Instead, I would like to celebrate the value of having such a diverse society. I count many different ethnicities among my friends, and family.

I like to celebrate our differences and embrace the customs we share.

I wonder how people can be so cruel and make such inaccurate assumptions about that which they know little of. And it saddens me.

So let’s celebrate this great nation and it’s cultural melting pot with a curry pie, minted peas, tzatziki and some lycees.

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4 comments

  1. Cool story (not sarcastic).

    Being in the UK has made me miss how open Australia is to “foreigners”. It’s true that there are probably traces of racism in Australia, but being born and raised there I’ve either become immune to it or it just doesn’t happen much at all.

    It makes me proud of our country that we can be so accepting of other cultures, where I’ve been in London for a mere 8 months and have experienced racism towards what they call “orientals” and Europeans on a common basis.

    Australia is the best place to live, period.

    • Hi Daryl,

      Thanks for clarifying the ‘not sarcastic’ part (…that was not sarcastic either!) and thanks for your compliments. What is your heritage, out of interest? It’s good to hear we may be ahead of other countries in multicultural acceptance … I’ve not spent enough time in the UK to notice but will be mindful of it next time I venture there.

      Agree Australians are generally pretty good, for many Australians are from other cultures! Although I stand by that it does exist and when it does it is very ugly. But yes, for the most part, we are so lucky to be in such a diverse country.

      Hope your experience in the UK ends on a positive note. And no doubt you are looking forward to a visit to Australia again soon, no?

      Thanks for stopping by to share your sentiments – much appreciated 🙂

      Kimberley

  2. Hey Kimberley,

    Haha, thought I’d clarify that since you come from a really interesting background. My parents are from a place called Macau (it’s a little island next to Hong Kong, part of China and more recently known as the Asian Vegas) hence the Portuguese citizenship allowing me to stay here.

    I may have dramatised it a little but it’s really common to see people pinpoint Asians and call them names for no reason at all. On a good day you brush it off and laugh at their immaturity, but on a bad day it gets ugly. I’ve grown used to it but still notice it happen. Haven’t experienced it in the workplace, which is good. I guess you can’t blame them since they’re not as used to growing up with Asians around as Aussies are.

    And yes, I will head home eventually! 🙂

    – Daryl


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