Where are you from?

It is pouring rain again in Sydney. It’s one of those that you know you will get wet even with a huge umbrella at hand. Which means.. I have nothing better to do than staying at home and browsing on facebook and remembering that I haven’t updated my blog for a while.

since I last wrote…

  • Fantastic company Christmas party: met so many people
  • Changed my facebook profile to timeline
  • My blog post that got posted on VMware careers blog
  • Desperately looking for some cheap travelling deals during my company’s mandatory annual leave
  • Didn’t do much sightseeing due to rain (almost feel like Vancouver in late October/have a cold)
  • Kim Jong Il is dead


Even though Australia claims to embrace Multiculturalism, somehow I feel it is just not there yet! My flatmate is from Europe. Her partner is Aussie. From the chats that I had with him, he believes that immigrants are stealing their jobs and he prefers Australia be filled with only “Australians”. It’s ironic that his partner – my flatmate is from Europe and in no way can imitate the OZ accent. And how do you exactly define a person “Australian”? Born in down under? Color of the skin? Being here for X amount of years?

Being in a foreigner in this country (and can’t hide it because I don’t have the cute accent), many people ask me “where are you from?” As if this question isn’t confusing on its own (it can mean different things in different situations, such as where do you live, which school you go to), they are really asking me what is my ethical background.

When asked this question, the first thing that will pop in my mind is Vancouver, it is the place that I call home. When I answer “Canada”, the responses I get (more or less) is “and as if you don’t look Asian at all.” Don’t get me wrong. I am not ashamed of my ethical background and would gladly share this information if asked. However, with remarks like that,  they make me aware of color of my skin — that I am different. What if I am white? Would the same question still be asked if I am masked with perfect Canadian accent? No. From time to time, I would also get this kind of reaction in Canada, but definitely less often than every time. In terms of accepting multiculturalism, Australia is still years behind!

For people who actually reads my blog to the very end: who wants postcards? Leave me a message (for friends outside Australia only)


5 thoughts on “Where are you from?

  1. Hum, so according to you girls, if I (Portuguese, and well, Portuguese looking I guess) went to Canada and someone asked me where I was from and I would simple reply “Japan”, the talk about my origins would end there. With that being a satisfactory answer for any Canadian without getting a “and as if you don’t look Caucasian at all.”

    Is that so?


  2. OMG I got the same question/unsure response all the time in Malaysia/Korea/Austria. When I answered Canada, then they would ask “where were you born/originally from/where are your parents from?”. Don’t think it’s just Australian thing…hmm


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