Growing Up Asian in Aus
He wrote poetry but she only listened to once as she had let her Chinese go so could not understand much of what he was saying. After a while her grandfather started losing his memory and could not find his way home from the city. One holiday, Amy followed her grandfather and guided him when he needed it. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor and three months later, passed away.
Because of her grandfathers death, Amy improved her Chinese and was complimented at a restaurant by the waiter. Ken Chau – The Early Settlers Page. 25 Great-grandfather had arrived at Wahgunyah in 1897 to grow corn cabbage tobacco. He called the first terrorist a fucking bastard in his own language and referred to the early settlers as foreign devils and potential terrorists. Ken Chau – The Terrorists Page. 26 Paranoid about terrorists being every where. “When smothered by their attacks”. He wants to die and kill them for making him feel this way.
States being born in Australia and being an Australian are not the same. Christopher Cyrill – The Ganges and Its Tributaries Page 39. Christopher’s mother believes the spirit of Visakha takes care of every empty home until family of his choice has entered it. She bought their home because of the three nails shaped like three crucifixes (a representation of a cross with a figure of Jesus Christ on it) the spirit had left. His had decorated their house with maps of India all around. Mother had arranged the cupboard, and replaced statues of Mary and Joseph on Christopher’s bedside table.
Hop Dac – Pigs From Home Page. 53 Hop Dac thinks pigs are repulsive and explains his hate for pigs are because of their greediness. He has many animals and grows herbs and vegetables. Hop tells a story of the time they didn’t feed the pigs or animals for a whole day and after a day of hunger, when trying to feed the chicken. Out of hunger and greediness the pig bites off the chickens behind. He also tells the story about the time he helped his father kill a pig for feast. After a while they stopped keeping pigs and moved to Footscray where he ate noodles all the time. Lily Chan – Take Me Away, Please
Page. 64 Lily had to spend every after school at 4pm at her parents store called Peter Chan’s Chinese Take-Away to help/work. Her chores consisted of turning lights on and the “open” sign. After opening the shop she did her homework and if homework was done she watched t. v. Her favourite t. v shows were Get Smart, The Goodies and she liked the theme song from Come and Get It. At exactly 5:30pm the body builder from across the road rang and placed the same order he always placed. Their most popular dishes were special fried rice, chicken with almonds, and sweet and sour pork.
Every three months on of their customers would order 20 dishes of food from their shop which took a lot of time cooking. Today was that day. The only other Chinese family in the town were one of their best friends. They were also their biggest competitors as they owned the Hong Kong Restaurant down the road from them. MATES Aditi Gouvernel – Wei-Li and Me Page. 75 Barry West was a bully from Aditi’s school who always degraded her saying, after playing tiggy, he had to wash his shirt because Aditi is Indian and he has Indian shit on him. She moved from Qutab Miner which she called her “playground” to Canberra.
The only thing in common with these two places was that they are both national capitals. Mount Rogers was a place on the hill near there home which her father and herself called “theirs”. Aditi and her family became official Australian Citizens in 1982. Her parents first met Australia at work, but she met it in the playground. Kids at school always bullied her after all of Barry’s rude comments. He said “she even looks like a slut” and “Indian girls have no tits”. All Aditi wanted to do was go back to Delhi and escape all this bullying.
She made excuses not to go to school like saying she is sick with serious illnesses. Then Wei-Li arrived. He was an Asian who was the new centre of attention. Aditi was no longer being bullied. Everyone picked on Wei-Li and called him “piss”. After watching Wei-Li get pushed around in the playground by Barry, Aditi decided to stick up for him by smashing a rock on Barry’s head. Both of them were scared so they ran as far as possible away from the big bully. After taking Barry on, Wei-Li and Aditi spent every second together at school and outside of school.
But when they went on an excursion to the Parliament House where they were seperated. Aditi was seated in front of Barry alone. He bullies her once again and she find the courage to hit him with a cricket bat once they are outside of the bus. Surprisingly they are not punished but soon Barry reveals why. He is moving to Jakarta. The day Barry leaves the school, Wei-Li and Aditi celebrate by walking up Le Galliene Street to We-Li’s house. At 16 years of age, Aditi moves to a private high school where people call her “pretty”. In the late ages of 18, Wei-Li and Aditi are sitting in cafes sipping coffee.
They have become what they thought they would never become: Australian. Tanveer Ahmed – Exotic Rissole Page. 96 Tanveer loved to hang out with his best mate Daryl which he called Lynchy because he was Australian. Tanveer was very fond of Daryl’s rat tail but his parents were very strict on haircuts and his dad was the only one who cut his hair. Daryl always had negative comments towards Tanveer’s dad as he was very strict on him. After school Daryl always came to Tanveer’s house and then they’d ride to the Toongabbie creek to hang out.
Tanveer had never been to Daryl’s house and he always wondered why he was never invited over. Daryl was admired by Tanveer’s mother as she treated him like her own son and Tanveer envied him because he never got a chance to try anything or be something other than Indian. He always wanted to try true Australian Rissoles. On one of the last days of high school Daryl eventually invited Tanveer over for the first time. Daryl’s parents were divorced so his father didn’t live there anymore and his sister Stacey was at work. His mum Bridget, served Tanveer green cordial and fizzy orange drink.
After primary school Daryl and Tanveer saw each other less and then Daryl’s mum sold their house and moved them to the North Coast. They never saw each other again. Tanveer’s love towards Australian rissoles was great so he asked his mum to teach him how to make them. Conversations With My Parents Page. 130 Oanh did not have a good relationship with her parents until her dad ended up in hospital. After he got very ill, she spent everyday in hospital listening to his stories about when he was a young boy. He asks her to call him every three weeks when she is in England.
She doesn’t call often but the first conversation is full, blunt, boring, brief and quick. The next conversation is with her niece who has just started talking full sentences. It is a funny conversation but is cut very short. After a couple of calls, Oanh has a long conversation with her parents. Her mother lectures her about walking too much but Oanh claims its for fun. Through all these conversations she has not told her parents she misses and loves them. She tries to find the words to express her feelings but her mother cuts through and says bye followed by a hang up.
Moss hair for good fortune. red dates for progeny, gingko nuts for long life. Bon-Wai’s father grew up in the country of China and when finding out he had terminal cancer, his one wish was to visit his hometown. He could not sit as he suffered intense pain so he was unable to fly there. To remind him of his childhood. They bought silky chickens which he took care of everyday. After the death of 2 chickens. Bon-Wai’s father bought more. They were constantly disappearing which they assumed someone was stealing.
Everything that was old aged that they owned was dying away slowly. One night Bon-Wai’ father showed her a pad with two sketches. It was his dream kitchen. One was of a birds eye view and the other was how it would look from the living room. They took tape, pencil, paper and a calculator to take measurements for their renovations. A week later her father was taken to hospital for a mild dose of pneumonia. He didn’t talk much about his life but Bon-Wai knew he was brought up by his mother and grandmother. During the war, her grandmother made papers for her dad to be taken away.
She was then killed. Bon-Wai’s father started to do strange things and her brother suspected a stroke. They took him to hospital and he died. The chicken was cremated along with her father.
Diem’s parents owned a Vietnamese video store which was running out of business because the home pirating was taking over. At the front of the shop they sold movies and at the back they made Country Road garments for 80 cent pieces. Diem and her sister worked there alone when their parents were out on duties. For every event, Diem’s family visited the Vo family in St Albans and it was like being on the set of Neighbors. The men ate and drank VB (beer) and the women gossiped about their brand bags, plastic surgery, people who owed them money, karaoke and gambling.
In Diem’s house, her parents expected her to say “hello” when answering the phone in a Vietnamese tone so people wouldn’t think they have called a Westerner’s residence. Her life wasn’t that bad compared to other peoples. Philip Dang – Teenage Dreamers Page. 173 Philip’s father had a sixth sense; knowing when people would die. Leslie Cheung was his favourite star. After watching a movie starring Leslie with Philip. He burst into tears having thoughts of Leslie committing suicide in a month. He expected Philip to visit Hong Kong in a month for Leslie’s death but he refuses to go because of the SARS disease.
On the 1st of April 2003 Leslie jumps off the 24th floor of his hotel committing suicide. In a note he writes “In my life i did nothing bad”. Philip and his father carry a placard that says “In my life i did nothing as good as you Leslie”. Shalini Akhil – Destiny Page. 176 Shalini pretends to be Wonder Woman and calls it destiny. Shalini realises her looks will never match Wonder Woman’s. Her grandmother has negative comments towards the way Wonder Woman dresses and suggests wearing a lungi instead if shinny plastic underwear. They design a lungi together and a new top, adding straps to it.
When Shalini grew up, she was going to be Indian Wonder Woman. The Lover in the Fish Sauce Page. 203 Trung takes Diep to watch an advert of his fathers company in the cinemas. Throughout the movie Trung feels very sick. A couple of days later he picks Diep up to get food from the city but stops by his house to get a jacket. Trung introduces Diep to his parents, Mr and Mrs Cuong and they ask questions about her future career which she is hoping to be nursing. They leave without Trung telling his parents he’s going. His mother looks at him accusingly. Lian Low – My First Kiss
Page. 216 Lian grew up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In 1991, tongue kisses, homosexuals, anti-government sentiment and anything else it deemed offensive was illegal. After realising she has an attraction to girls, she plays a short film scene having her first kiss with a girl which teaches her all about it. UN-AUSTRALIAN? Uyen Loewald – Be Good, Little Migrants Page. 225 They should be thankful but no be seen nor heard. They are authorised to do labour, and not make our culture dull. They have to follow all our rules and be our slaves because of the things we have provided them with.
James Chong – Anzac Day Page. 239 Every Anzac Day James marched in the Sydney street parade with the schools pipe band. HE felt as thought he didn’t belong there because he is Asian and Anzac Day is an “Australian thing”. He was then showed on ABC news follow with big blue words. “TRUE BLUE? ” TALL POPPIES Quan Yeomans Page. 253 Quan was born in Sydney. Half Vietnamese, half Australian. Lead singer and guitarist for rock band Regurgatitor. Quan can’t remember every being interested in any type of career at any particular age. His passion for the guitar came from his hate for the piano.
His mum had a more intimate relationship with his music and his dad guided him saying “a job worth doing is a job worth doing badly”. They both supported him through his career. He also repeated one of his dads quotes. “Sometimes the only thing left in the world to make you happy is blowing gas out of your arse. ” Anh Do Page. 280 Anh is an Vietnamese-Australian actor, film-producer and stand-up comedian. Growing up Anh wanted to be a martial arts champion. He became a comedian through laziness. In an interview after his law degree, the guy congratulated him and greeted his sixty hour working week.
He asked a friend who was a comedian and he said he only did four hours weekly. This was more easier so he went on being a Comedian. First days on the job weren’t too good as he earned $50 every 5 minutes. And the only work he had was 5 minutes per week. The people who changed his life the most were his two sons and his most important lesson is “enjoy the journey, because the destination is never as satisfying as you think”.