Yesterday (21th March 2013) was Australia’s Annual Harmony Day where the government promotes multiculturalism and of course a sense of belonging for everyone.
I have always been living in a background of multiculturalism back in my home town. Above comic wasn’t what I have experienced but definitely one of the Malay teachers in our country ask the Chinese students to just go back to China?? Why bother learning national language, Malay and why not just form a major of the same ethnic group in a country?
I have no problem living in a community with different people, there is no issue of racism occurred on me. I have never and ever experience any beat up because of my race, yet I have not been discriminating other races. By mixing with the people of the same ethnicity as me, I have really started to consider am I really separating myself from other people of different backgrounds, language, tradition and religion. What initiates that separation? People sharing the same nation space and the resources living in it, so why such distinctive matter occur in ever country. Today’s tutorial class, we have discussed this issue in a cultural perspective based on the media representation.
Media such as television programs and films which create the sort of dominant genre revitalising a various effects on the social environment. We were watching a scene from the Aussie tv show “Home and Away” which seriously depicts the major kind of racism showing violence and reflects the class of a certain minor ethnic group in Australia. A group of racist people just beats up a guy, threw fire into his house, break his windows and brutally attacked him. The current affairs of asylum seekers and refuges coming to Australia to seek a new life literally inform that the Australian’s vulnerability to illegal entry of these people. These people wanting to blend into a new life as an Australian shows their determination, courage and resilience in surviving the ordeal.
We often did categorization for just anything. There is no way for a world not to have a classification. Even living things are divided into human, animals and plants. Therefore the system that presents the distinctness between people, the meanings attached were sometimes being modified, twisted, sometimes emerging in a different commodification and sometimes constructed in inappropriate manner of stereotyping and discrimination. Explicit images shown in the media such as mentioned above navigate the audiences into a contradiction between reality and fantasy. The facilitation of racism is legitimate via the reinforced popular culture. It has become a popular culture to have a certain characteristic that marks the differences between people. I have asked one of my Aussie friend whether she knew any of the stereotyping on Asian like me. Well apparently we are bad drivers. I wasn’t too offended as I am not a good driver myself.
A nation that promotes diversity often face an identity crisis. They have a hard time in searching for the authenticity in their culture and tradition. This shows the messiness of Australians. Studying in Australia temporary made a reconciliation between myself and culture, my identity and the lifestyle I have always carried out were of different with the people living in this nation. The most important fact is that I am not an Australian. So we have discussed “what is Australianess?” As Australia is always promoting their diverse nation and multiple identities living together, emphasises on unity between the different types of people rather than everyone is the equal under the same context. The vision of having a world of harmony, unity and equality in a worldwide spectrum is closer to impossible. The goal of wanting everyone to appreciate the differences between all of us is just not easy.
We have constantly wondering who is able to assimilate into the Aussie culture and generally becomes a typical Anglo-Australian. It is interesting to find out the stereotyping of people of non-Australian towards Australian. Basically back in the olden times, Australian is always been racism towards anyone that is different from them. For now it is possible that the racism has shift towards other ethnic groups that finds a hard time in assimilating into their culture including jokes, lifestyle, behaviour and attitude. Nobody has the power to control the history that compose the actions and attitude that people possess. The cross-generation conflicts will never be resolve and so the media stereotype will always exaggerate certain facts while the life of people suffers from racism are often fragmented. Their identities are split between their homeland and Australia. That includes me. I have always been proud from where I belong but somehow fate that brings me to Australia constantly convincing me to assimilate into the Aussie lifestyle. Why do we have to change and not retain our different characteristics, idea and behaviours from others? Exploring the direct and controversial of the new multiculturalism Australia definitely provides a long term insight of numerous ideas and knowledge.