Kane George Jason

Creating + Positivity

A foreign perspective of the Australian identity

I had a very brief encounter with a nice Chinese man the other day which had very humble beginnings, yet turns quite disturbing – all within minutes!

The quick conversation started with myself saying hello – to which he responded with “how ya goin’ mate” (in a very bad & cliche ‘Aussie’ accent). I laughed and said it wasn’t the best rendition I’ve heard; we both had a laugh. I continued saying us Australians don’t all sound like that and he said that he now knows this, as before arriving here he didn’t even know that the indigenous Aboriginals even existed in Australia! It was his belief that there were only a ‘white Australia’…

He talked about the indigenous Australians as though they were a foreign entity – something completely different to the both of us, though i doubt i had more in common with him then most of the Aboriginals i know. However he had one final remark on this subject – he was surprised that ‘all’ Aboriginals just sat in town drinking alcohol. Now I know alcohol abuse is a problem in regional towns, however it definitely doesn’t apply all indigenous Australians. I’m sure there’s been a white Australian which has had the same issues… I tried to tell him something along these lines, not to believe in stereotypes pushed by simple minded people, however I was pushing uphill as I felt someone else had previously told him otherwise…

This was the entire conversation, and even though its duration was short, it’s been hard to get out of my head.

image source: www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/OA20.1965