‘The writers in Growing up Asian in Australia show embracing multiple cultural identities is a challenging and also enriching personal journey.’ In the early stages of growing up, multiculturalism exhibits the fundamental factor of identity and belonging. Growing up Asian in Australia edited by Alice Pung, displays the challenges in which the writers endeavour through difficult situations during their personal journey. One’s identity is developed and influenced by the groups one belongs to. Living between two different cultures can enforce changes within their lives. However, belonging to a group may cause sacrifices to selfhood, loss of self-esteem, and value. Not only choosing how to belong to a group, your identity will stay with you forever, it is what makes up you, your own individual belief.
Living on the verge of two different cultures can envelop in lost identities.Michelle Law is a girl who is torn between two different identities, a prevalent theme that coexists in the many stories of Growing up Asian in Australia. During Michelle’s early stages, she has stumbled upon many conflicts for her and her family to overcome. In Australia, she was teased about her appearance, her hand-me-down, hairless arms, oversized clothing, and her peculiar lunch. “Now that I thought about it, everything up to that point in my life seemed so incredibly abnormal compared to everyone else I knew.” She is appointed with the feeling of anxiety, she wanted to be normal.
Michelle confesses to her mum she simply wants to be ‘normal’. Yet we are all the same, looking for a group to fit in and be normal, not be ashamed of your own culture and heritage. Thus, being portrayed as the outsider to the Australian Culture can impact to adjust their way of life just to fit in. Growing up as an Asian or any other race is very difficult, due to sacrifices made to leave behind parts of your identity.
People which strive to belong to a certain group, often reforming their values to the point of no restitution. Amy Choi who was brought up and learnt Chinese, it was needless for her and therefore she forgot it. “Though I was raised speaking Chinese, it wasn’t long before I lost my language skills. I spoke English all day at school, listened to English all night on TV.” Amy was required to change her identity in order to fit in. She wanted to be like her friends, speak fluent English, so that they can communicate to each other.Gaining a new identity is also losing your original identity. Amy was happy, she was able to fit in, however it struck her, she was not able to communicate to her family as she used to.
Amy lost the inability to speak Chinese; there was too much regret between her. It was decided to pick up her native language yet disappointed that she forgot it. In Amy’s situation she has lost something to find something else. What is an identity? How come I do not look like them? Why is it important to us? Identity imposes a symbolism, of which represents ones individual self.
As human beings it is natural to have a need to belong and the feeling of acceptance. “Sunil was called lots of things, well in fact nearly every racist name under the sun.” We all simply want to fit in, but are frequently rejected by the beliefs of others. In order to fit in Sunil changed his identity. “Neil. I liked it…My name’s Badami. Neil Badami.” The problem was Sunil was not himself he was trying to be Neil.
However changing an identity is the process of changing others perspective.Belonging to a group requires self-policing and to apply criteria for participation in which not everyone can meet those requirement. Sunil realizes his identity is what makes him up; he is happy to know his name symbolizes a special identity. Growing up Asian in Australia is a fascinating novel with a diverse collection of stories. The state of belonging to a group provides one with a sense of identity, protection, and security, nonetheless resulting in sacrifices to selfhood and entails certain inevitable costs. The human desire is about the inclusion and acceptance, despite that the individual may come across many costs in their efforts to meet the standards that are asked of them.
Ones who wish to adopt a new identity are usually ones that have not been fully accepted by a certain group or original members.FeedbackChloe: your ideas in the essay are really clear and you’ve expressed them well ? GOOD JOB Liam: due to the pure swag that you expressed so beautifully in this masterpiece. Very clear ideas and the whole thing seemed to flow really well. 10/10 would bang 😉 Benjamin: Voice work is good (Expression is well said).
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