Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Week Five: Diasporic Cultures and Nationalism

Source: Click.
Even when people have migrated from their 'homeland', nowadays the notion of homeland is only strengthened with the evolution of technology. The ability to hear how one's country of origin is faring is expanded via the internet/world wide web, cheaper international calls, and the ease of world news access.  However, El-Nawawy (2003, P.68)points out that this is not necessarily available equal globally, in regards to Iraq.

When Chris talked about nationalism in this week's lecture (as well as explaining diasporic cultures), it struck me that I have not, as yet, managed to find a proper balance between my family cultures.

To explain, I'm half Greek Cypriot on my father's side, half Sri Lankan on my mother's, and born/raised here in Australia. People often get confused by my physical features and ask my 'nationality' or 'family background'. The next question I'm asked is whether I speak either language (I don't) and their response to this is that 'it's a shame'. I have half Cypriot, half Italian cousins, but I feel this mix can be better explained geographically than my own family history.

It does get confusing as both cultures have a certain set of values that often contrast each other. Most people have a sense of community within their families, but I myself feel torn in this respect. The concept of having ALL of my family in the one room is but a daydream.

Fortunately, both sides flew here and migrated here legally. I am, by definition, a second generation Australian according to this report from the Department of Immigration (2002, p.iv).

In short, I have not experienced diaspora myself. But I am here because my ancestors have.

El-Nawawy, M. 2003, ‘The battle for the Arab mind’, Al-Jazeera, the story of the network that is rattling governments and redefining modern journalism< 2003, Westview Press, Boulder CO, pp. 45-69, 217-218
Khoo, Siew-Ean et al, Second Generation Australians, Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs publication, last accessed 8/8/12

1 comment:

  1. Heyyyyy, just reading your blog and it was very interesting, I like the approach that you went with. It was refreshing reading about someone who finds it difficult to find a balance in their family cultures (a different approach than i think im an Aussie bogan post haha. Ithink it really showed how globalised we are getting having two parents of different cultures and raised in neither. The quote you found worked perfectly with your own story. great job! PEACE