Wednesday, August 03, 2016

The Foreigner on the 470

I take the bus to work. There are moments when I am so aware that I am in a bus full of foreigners - mostly of Caucasian descent. Then it dawns on me - a tiny Asian woman - that in this world, I am the foreigner.

Around 30% of Australian residents are born overseas. Comparing this with immigrant populations worldwide, this percentage is in fact on the higher end of the spectrum. Yet it cannot be denied that this this is a minority - and I am part of that minority.

This does not disturb me. However it does pose some interesting questions about identity. Race and nationality underpin our perception of people (whether we admit it or not). This makes me wonder about how people perceive me and my fellow country kin. I wonder, do I live up to those perceptions?

It's a mildly intriguing subject but I do consciously steer away from dwelling on the matter. There is an inherent danger of attaching attributes to ethnicity. Doing promotes a wall-building, 'you are different from me' mentality and that's just not cool. After all, at the end of the day, we are all just people on the bus, trying to get to work.

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