Is it fair to assume that all Australians are narrow minded red neck bogans? Well depending where your from and who you interact with in this vastly different country, your answer could and very rightly would be a resounding Yes. Australia is a land built on multiculturalism, but I hate to say it, a lot of Australians don’t seem to grasp that or what the term means.
In the documentary ‘Dumb, Drunk and Racist’ it is revealed that Indian call centre workers who’s calls are directed towards Australia, are told that this is the very core of our being. That in itself is a racist statement, but as Australian’s can we really expect anything better from a group of people that are continuously targeted in Australia. The attacks on Indian students in Melbourne makes me question whether Australia is really as accepting as we make ourselves out to be. Now I do recognise that this is a very, very, very small minority of the population that is racist, but on an international scale this reflects very poorly on Australians as a whole.
As a first year university student I know how scary it has been moving 6 hours away from home. But that is nothing compared to moving half way around the world as most international students have to do. A big part of being at university is making friends and meeting so many different people. So, what’s the big fuss with people from different cultures joining in? In ‘International Education as self-formation’ written and presented by Simon Marginson’, it explains ‘Hybridity’. Hybridity is where there is a cross between two separate races of cultures. For international students this is described as forming them ‘…into a newly formed self.’ Also mentioned is the ‘deficit model’, which is where international students are considered weak, lacking and helpless. I’ve never met someone who has traveled that is any of those things. International students seem so worldly, educated, open and most importantly brave.
The small minority of people that threaten and harass international students is not a particularly accurate representation of Australian society. Neither is the deficit model. I think Australians could learn a lot from international students and vice versa. Acceptance of others doesn’t require a university degree, so being accepted should happen everywhere.