Embracing the Asian Culture in Australia: What to Take Note Of
There’s no denying how the world has become a global village. It’s now easy for people to move from one country to another. Sure, the COVID-19 pandemic may have halted this for now. But immigration will continue during and most especially after the pandemic.
Let’s take the country, Australia – a continent built on immigration over time. Different nationalities have immigrated to the country and stayed there for good. In fact, Asians currently make12 percent of its population. But the question is, how much “Asianness” is in the Land Down Under?
That’s what we’re going to tackle in this article. Keep on reading to learn more.
What the statistics say about Asians in Australia
The recent statistic shows there are more than7.6 million migrants in Australia. This accounts for 30 percent of the total population borne overseas.
As expected, people from England continue to make the largest group of immigrants in the country. Next to England are those born in Asian countries such as India and China. New Zealand took the fourth spot while the Philippines and Vietnam were on the fifth and sixth spots.
The statistics make it abundantly clear that immigrants from Asian countries make up an increasing portion of the Australian population. As mentioned, Asian-born people now account for 12 percent of the people. And these facts and figures have a significant implication on the country’s national identity in the future.
Anti-Asian racism amid the pandemic
But despite the growing Asian population in the country, some Australians continue to exhibit awkward relationships with some Asian immigrants. This is particularly true during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The anti-immigrant racism had even become more apparent in 2020. This is expected due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis as the SARS-COV-2 came from Wuhan, China. Also, this can be attributed to the deteriorating relationships between Australia and China.
In addition, a survey revealed that about 60 percent of Chinese Australians and Asian immigrants in the country considered racism a problem during the pandemic. Another report suggested that about 85 percent of Asian Australians have experienced racism amid the COVID-19 crisis.
These facts show that the root cause of racism and discrimination in the country remains unaddressed. It’s essential to address this now more than ever. The goal is not only to give the immigrants the fair treatment they deserve. But with the growing Asian population, it is for enabling the country to reap the full benefits of immigration.
Embracing the Asian communities
It’s about time to embrace the Asian communities in the country. Apart from providing Asian immigrants fair treatment and equal access to opportunities, it’s also about recognizing Asian arts and designs, music and dance, culture and traditions, as well as cuisines.
It’s good that festivals such as the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts (Asia Topa) allow Asian performers to present their art and culture. This is a great way to boost the underdeveloped relationships between Australia and its neighboring Asian countries.
Furthermore, Asian cuisines cannot be ignored, as they are abundant in the country. Chinese, Malaysian, and Japanese cuisines are among those regularly served up. Also, you can see Koreans showcasing their famous Kimchi or Filipinos eating rice and fish with their known fish sauce called patis on the side.
There’s no denying the rise of Asian cuisines in the country. In fact, more and more Australians have increasingly loved to consume a wide array of international food cuisines. Australia has indeed become a melting pot of cultural cuisines.
Becoming a Eurasian nation
At this point, there is a need for Australia to reassess its national identity. For the most part, the country essentially considers itself as a “Western Nation.” Sure, England and New Zealand continue to dominate as major sources of immigrants in the country. However, the increase of Asian immigrants coming from China, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam can no longer be ignored. They have a significant contribution to the future of the country.
In fact, the idea of promoting Australia as a Eurasian nation began in the 1990s. In recent years, there has been a call for the country’s deeper engagement with Asia. The ultimate goal is for the country to thrive in the 21st century. Hence, there is a need to acknowledge and accept the reality of “Asian-Nation.”
There’s no doubt how the Asian minority is gradually gaining traction in the Land Down Under. As such, it’s time for Australia to embrace the Asian communities as part of its national identity. There is no room for discrimination and racism in this time and age. With the growing Asian minority, expect the country to be a Eurasian nation in the near future.