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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Writer's Journal (exercise): Un-Australian

Well, that’d be my Mum for starters. Migrated from India with her family when she was 15.  She was Anglo-Indian, not dark-skinned, so people heard her accent and not only the English bit — she went to boarding school in England from the age of 7. People still ask me sometimes if I’m English. I must have absorbed something of Mum’s way of speaking. And yet she lived in Australia from the age of 15 until she died at 83. She said that in Austraia she was taken for English, and when she went back to England on a visit, everyone said how Australian she sounded.

When did she go from being a foreigner to being an Aussie? Oh yes, I suppose she and her family got naturalised and all that; she was certainly an Austraian citizen. But don’t some of the other nationalities who come here get naturalised too? It still doens't make them Aussies in the eyes of their critics.

We love to have peoople to hate for their difference. I remember when I was a kid, it was the I-ties. Now they are old stock, many gneerations here.

I always say I’m dinkum cos I was born here — but I don’t drink beer or tea, don’t bet on the Melborne Cup, prefer poetry to sport, and don’t profess to be Christian.

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