Who Do You Think You Are?

There’s only one race, it’s called human race.

I still remember this powerful line from a community ad in Australia. It came right at the time when a newly elected parliament member was out to get some publicity. In her maiden speech, it was nothing but provoking an anti immigration sentiment, xenophobia and fears of foreign invasions. No surprise, one particular racial group – Asian was targeted. Yes, the media loved her and gave a plenty of coverage about her whereabouts. We saw the nation split between for and against groups but overall those who held an extreme view were never a majority.

True, Australia has long been known as a racist country due to its history of White Australia Policy. But that’s a thing of the past. Which country in the world doesn’t go on a day without carrying a dark past? Australia has moved on all because it did something to heal the past – including having anti discrimination act made into law and saying sorry to the stolen generations. Without these brave moves, the old wounds would’ve remained wide open and got passed down to the next generation and after.

Weeks ago a friend and I had a heated yet healthy debate over the issue of identity. Who am I? Not the stereotype most people think I am racially, ethnically or culturally. The thing is I don’t put myself into a particular basket or a specific category then act accordingly. I see myself as a global citizen. That’s all. I’m not a guy who lets other things like my backgrounds such as where I was born or where I grew up define my identity.

Who Do You Think You Are?

The Aussie series of “Who do you think you are?” were first aired 4 years ago on channel SBS. After watching a few episodes, it left me with a big question mark. I couldn’t help but wondered: Where did my ancestors come from?

So curious that I called my mum one night to find out more. We had a heartfelt conversation about my past, her generation and my grandparents’. Together I got some questions answered. It was nice to bring those things to light. Now I have a better understanding of my family tree and what’s in my blood. Again, my heritage is something I’m proud of but it’s not something that defines me.

Interestingly, a simple quest for my ancestors that night also got my dad talking about his past. From memories, never once had I seen my dad talking to his father (my grandfather). I don’t know what had happened between them two. Somehow, finding my roots also served as a long-awaited process for healing the past…

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