By William Nguyen:
The diversity we know of in Australia is extremely superficial. It is superficial to the point of merely acknowledging there are people of different cultural backgrounds and not being racist towards them or avoiding them, but merely trying to know a little about them before moving on with our separate cultural lives. Only a tiny percentage actually dive deep enough into another culture to the point of it being known inside out like a second culture; unfortunately we call these people “experts” or “majors” in that field/culture, not teachers or the local postman.
Humans have historically migrated and integrated. They’ve had to put up with others, but that does not equate to multiculturalism or celebrating diversity, that is simply anthropology. Take Malaysia for example. Whether their multiculturalism is forced or natural, that is the standard to which we should strive towards if we truly do not want to look like an ignorant or superficially non-racist country. Muslims, Christians and Hindus celebrate Chinese New Year with as much fervour as they (and the Chinese) celebrate Eid, Christmas and Diwali and various other holidays. Whether it is as widespread as I believe or not, it was all over TV, shopping centres, taxis, newspapers and the marketing of many business. Workers nationally enjoy public holidays on these days and are invited to participate in the festivities. We merely know of multiculturalism as the contribution of food and why people left their homelands for Australia, if even that.
If we truly wish to be as integrating as we believe this great country to be, we need to do much more to educate our young and de-ghetto-cise many parts of Sydney and Melbourne before it becomes a permanent sub-culture. There are irresponsible and ignorant people on both sides, that is migrants and white Australians, and there are those who think Australia has done enough (or too much).
We should be honest with ourselves. There is no need for America, Russia, China, South Africa or various European countries to celebrate multiculturalism or diversity as we try to; people are just happy to be there and will naturally share their culture (music, clothing, food and arts) during their festivities like we already do, with or without local council assistance. But if we are going to go down that path, let’s not do a half-baked job of it. Let’s make Australians as worldly as possible and reward them with public holidays so they appreciate it more, spurring even more interest and appreciation. It would finally prepare Australia mentally to accept we are located geographically in Asia and see our people ready as knowledgeable global citizens.
IMAGE: Andres Musta