Firstly, this is ‘my’ own experience of arriving in Australia and living here as a full citizen but from an Asian racial background but with no knowledge of actually growing up in the Eastern World. People like to segregate and place individuals or groups into specific categories in order to have a general definition of them, and this leads to stereotypes. It is the world’s laziness to look into everybody as an individual and to begin defining sets of people without truly caring or wanting to know about them.
From first impressions, I look like any washed up Asian from a faraway land which is realistically only two or three hours off the border of Australia. People can’t tell the difference, and so I get placed into the category of segregation. I had a very judgmental impression of Australia before I arrived in 2008, and it is easy to look back into its relatively short history and realize where such anti-multiculturalist views come from. White supremacy bleeds through history, and it dominates truly without much oppression whatsoever. I’m not a believer in race, but in saying that always makes me blind because its reality. It is reality that people look at skin tone, accents, skin colour and even language and they will judged religiously on those factors. Ignoring that reality is already pushing away what you must watch out for. I used to ignore it all, but that only made me more blind and incorrect. Race may not be right, or the idea of it, but it exists and is a real world issue that strikes people down constantly.
My experience is not ‘the’ experience, it is one that is truly my own and it differs for everyone who comes here from another country. I was immediately placed into the ‘Asian’ category in society, at schools or even at any fitness clubs. You get the looks, but the difference is that I expected such things to happen. It’s a no-brainer and anyone coming from a background that isn’t White would instantly know what to expect when entering such a Westernized country. You get the immediate ignorance upon customs at the airport, people don’t look at you with interest but one of pure boredom. That is an assumption my readers, a hard cruel assumption because I don’t really know. But the atmosphere is different, and the air is more futile and twisted.
My first experience of entering school was the questions, they were so stupid and unordinary and were immediately ignorant. Asking me about apparent ‘typical’ Asian traits of “do you drift like in Tokyo Drift?” or “Are you good at math?” or “Can you do Kung Foo?”
Don’t get me wrong, you hear tripe like this all over the world and most people will make jokes about it. Most Asian’s won’t even care about it, but its growing and it becomes a lot more personal and violent. The older a person gets, the more they learn about a race and the stereotypes surrounding it all. You get statistics about the huge suicide rates in Tokyo, how apparently poor the pass rate is on Asian driving tests or the apparent ‘gangster’ or ‘hipster’ lifestyle that younger Asians tend to live in. You get SEGREGATED, and it’s so obvious.
I’ve been flying this flag for a few years now, and it only gets higher everyday with the amount of ignorance I receive myself. I don’t speak for Asians as a whole, but my own experience. I want to get that point across, that I speak for me ALONE.
The day that hits me the most as completely ignorant, here in Australia, is the idea of Australia Day. A celebration of colonization? I’ve blogged about this idea in the past, but here’s another small summary of it. You aren’t celebrating the idea of being Australian because people who may be Australian by law don’t feel the same love as the country feels. Australia is seen, to most of the Eastern World, as a safe haven from conflict and persecution because of our apparent democratic values that are so twisted that they aren’t really free. Freedom of Speech is taken for granted here, but overseas it is seen as a miracle. Even in Singapore you cannot speak against the Government, and Conscription still exists there. But wait…I just remembered, Australia has no idea what Communism and Conscription is.
On Australia Day, I fear for everything because the values are so nationalistic and mentally scary. For me personally, I feel like a victim, and like a target is placed on my head because of nationalism values which I of course oppose. Multiculturalism is now a huge factor in Australian politics, but yet because of our ‘freedom’ people can easily ignore it. Place up bumper stickers of “You Don’t Like Australia, then Fuck Off” Oh we see it all the time, I see it all the time and its funny because Australian’s aren’t even from here anyway. This Aboriginal land, and nothing can take that away because its fact.
This is a rant, and that is obvious. It gets the blood pumping in my body and the violence rising in my mind, but this is a small segment of my Australian experience so far. If you are offended by this, then you have my apologies but this is my OWN experience and I CANNOT speak for anyone else.
If you are wondering…I still live in Australia to this day..