Belonging To Australia

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Growing up, I never connected with the culture around me. Feeling a sense of kinship with the other people living in the same country as me, was a completely alien concept that I couldn't understand. It never made sense that people would identify so much with others based on what I considered a trivial aspect of someone's identity. As I saw it, whether people were from the same country or not, they would differ in so many ways, that feeling any kind of kinship with people based on some similarities was nonsensical. I saw the importance people gave to their own culture as another way of separating themselves from others, focusing on differences rather than similarities. Of course, it has since dawned on me that by denying the importance of culture to people, I was the one focusing on differences rather than similarities.…show more content…
Immigrating to Australia and living here wasn't too different from living in Sri Lanka. Having never felt any connection to it, and seeing it as merely the country that I lived in, all moving to Australia meant was that I'd go to a different school and live in a different house. I never thought I'd be in for a different experience due to immigrating to Australia, and for a long time it didn't register to me that I did have experiences unique to immigrants, whatever generation they may be. On several occasions, people asked me what country I was from upon meeting them for the first time, and it never occurred to me until recently that they would ask this question of me before I had even spoken a word, because I wasn't white, and so in their minds I had to have come to Australia, rather than have been born here. At the time, I thought nothing of it, and it didn't bother me. In hindsight, not confronting these microaggressions did likely mean that awkward situations were

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