Posts tagged cultural
Blood And Water

Declarations such as “shame on them”, “I’d rather my daughter died than bring dishonour to the family”, “she must’ve dabbled in black magic to brainwash that poor boy”, and “I hope they’re found and shamed publicly” were made with great gusto, and to my adolescent brain, conjured up horrific visions which nearly made me throw up my dinner...

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Of Bread And Salt

Water runs from jiddo’s garden hose, trickling down his granulated hands before impatiently rushing towards the cavalcade of mint, basil and parsley that sprout from row upon row of upturned earth. Vegetables and fruits defy all 150m2 of the backyard and nudge across the neighbourly fence. Life can not be contained.

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Staying True As A Javanese Woman

I was afraid that by identifying as a Javanese woman, I would be mistaken for being submissive, accepting and feminine. I would be misunderstood as being passive, when there is power in subtlety, courtesy, initiative, emotional mastery and consciousness...

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Micronesian Chinese Money in Alaska

My family lived abroad. The arts embraced in Micronesia were very different from those in British Hong Kong. There was little chance to delve into interpretive or classical art. When you weren’t taking the aspects you liked, discarding what you didn't and establishing your own local spin on painting, dance and music, you had to go microcosmic...

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Sunny Side Down

I find it hard to reach out to my colleagues. In my Australian culture, grief is largely seen as a private affair, punctuated by long and absent silences. Needing a national ‘Are you OK’ day says a lot about us, and how hard it is to have conversations outside socially acceptable boundaries...

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8 Wellness Practices from Melbourne, Sri Lanka & Tokyo

New environments help you gain new perspectives, I'd visit temples with dense foliage to block out the busyness of Tokyo, or huge gardens, where you can only see the tops of neighbouring buildings…

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Dear Chook-Chook (A Letter To My Daughter)

As a three-year-old, you once suddenly said to your father: “Papa, you are brown.” And he gently took you to mirror and stood beside you as said, “Yes Chook-Chook, and so are you.” The answer seemed to satisfy you then. But there will be times when it won’t and you’ll wish you were whiter, lighter and eating ‘Australian’ for dinner...

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I Will Carry That Rice Cooker Out Like a Purse

My “real” boyfriend has his family coming from Brazil. He politely tells me to “move out” for the duration of the trip. I pay half the rent. He wants to keep “Portuguese house,” which means he doesn’t want to speak English in front of his family...

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We’re Living On Borrowed Time

Seeing the birthday boy or girl so happy, feeling so fulfilled, you couldn’t help but know it was temporary. Perhaps the year after, that very same birthday boy or girl would be in a new country, with new friends, doing it all over again...

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Letting Go of Family (Dis)honour

But what if I had been born into a violent family? What if they hated women, especially independent ones like me? Would I accept my fate and suffer, just to appease the culture I was born into? 

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My Unicorn and I

I can choose how Japanese I am: I never leave my chopsticks standing up in a bowl of rice because that is a funeral practice here and I avoid the number 4 like the plague in food service... 

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