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.