Asian Australians Combatting Racism

A huge number of individuals go experience racism from others due to their color and origins. Some people are quick to give negative remarks judging others just because of their race. Unfortunately, Australia is not free from the very said issue with a number of racism casing being reported regularly. Let us explore the racist issues in Australia and how others were able to combat them effectively.

Racism is a prevalent case in Australia most notably with the Muslim and black community. Anti-Muslim prejudice has led to Muslim kids being subject to police raids and locked up for thought crimes that in most cases are no more than the expression of entirely justified outrage at the policies of the government. Furthermore, Muslim refugees are detained indefinitely in concentration camps because they might be terrorists.

It is also quite apparent that also racism pervades Australia’s top jobs according to Race Discrimination Commissioner. In a working group with the likes of the Australia Human Rights Commission, PwC, Westpac and the University of Sydney, Dr Soutphommasane commenced research into cultural diversity in Australian leadership. The findings reveal that among top leadership roles in Australian politics, business and tertiary education, Anglo-Celtic and Australians with European ancestry are over-represented.

Even peaceful protestors aren’t spared from prejudice. Recent news showed an anti-racism campaigner was pepper-sprayed by police during a one-man protest in Melbourne’s CBD. Mr Katagar said he was protesting peacefully – in his usual spot between the tram tracks outside the Young and Jackson pub – when he was asked to move by a group of police officers he had not seen before. Mr Katagar launched his campaign against racism last year after being told by a doctor he wouldn’t understand the medical system because he was from Africa and couldn’t understand English.

It is good to hear however that even with the prevalent racism cases, support coming from the online community has been increasing. A good example of this is the outpouring of social media support which has buoyed a Cairns cafe worker’s spirits after a customer refused to be served by her because of the colour of her skin.

During a busy period in the Cairns cafe where Ms Ajak works as a shift supervisor she took over the cash register, trying to get a growing queue on the move.’

“This elderly woman approached the counter in a wheelchair and I greeted her as I would anyone else,” Ms Ajak said.

“She just looked at me and said ‘I refuse to be served by a black person, can you get me a white lady?’.”

The incident was documented in a Facebook post by her friend Jade Arevalo, which has received more than 700 shares, 16,000 likes and hundreds of comments of disgust. The post encouraged others to show support for Ms Ajak which has resulted in a huge wave of new customers to the store, who specifically ask for her assistance.

It is good to hear that with the help of modern technology, more and more individuals have raised awareness with the ongoing racism issue many are facing. The online community is keen on sharing such news receiving the fair share of the spotlight in just a short amount of time. Ms Ajak’s case is one of the many positive cases where racism was conquered. We hope to see more continuing support with the online community in the future as well.

Events & News in Sydney’s Asian Community

Sydney’s south western suburbs played host to thousands of animated festival goers for the September 3rd & 4th Moon Festival, a celebration of the 15th of the 8th lunar month also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival. Asian Culture is deeply embedded in traditional festivals. Just like Christmas and Thanksgiving in the West, the Moon Festival is one of the most important traditional events for the Chinese being an important event full of legendary stories and a popular occasion for large, family reunions for both Chinese and Vietnamese families.

An annual event determined by the equinox, when daylight and darkness are at an equal length, almost 80’000 festival goers attended browsing the food stalls, musical performances, live theatre including acrobatics & dance and of course the traditional Cantonese Lion Dance Parade, a must see spectacle! Fairfield City Mayor Mr. Frank Carbone praised the festival as providing such a valuable contribution to the surrounding local communities.

One of the few festivals even bigger in size and scale than the Moon Festival is the Chinese New Year Festival, a month long epic running from late January until early February. Hurstville Sydney will once again host a giant street show and parade with activities and fireworks galore encompassing the finest of Asian culture, traditions and arts with crowds milling until late in the night.

The other events are the traditional eye-dotting ceremony where the new lion dance costume is placed at the altar. This ceremony empowers the lion to do its duty of protecting the community, along with bringing them good luck, health and prosperity. The ceremony will be followed by group dances, singing events, lucky draw and the highlight of the evening, an interactive and traditional style costume parade.

As any Asian will tell you, no festival is complete without good food, and that is something which is found in abundance across the Hurstville location, stall upon stall of Asian delicacies and typical cooking demonstrations.

Asian festivals are full of colour and grandeur from plates of delicious foods to performances involving mythical creatures. Stories based on belief and legend have captured the imagination of writers for centuries and they’re now told with great joy on these festivals. Another important date is the Thai Water Lantern Festival which takes place across Parramatta, Sydney mid-November. Entry is free to witness the unveiling of ‘Loy Krathong’ a celebration of ushering in good luck and warding off evil by floating water lanterns in the river. The event will showcase intricate crafts from Thailand, traditional music, cultural performance by fire dancers, stunning fireworks displays as well as a water fountain display. Last but not the least, make sure you take part in the ritual act of launching the candle-lit Krathongs on the river as you make a wish for good fortune.

In fact, almost four percent of the Australian population is of Chinese heritage and Sydney is home to over half the Chinese population. The first generation of ethnic refugees and migrants came to Australia in the 1980s and have since prospered and integrated as students, employees, families, investors, business owners and heads of major corporations. Increasingly various Chinese social media platforms are showing high activity in the Sydney area. Chinese migrants take their culture with them when they travel and instill their history and values into their children who, in turn, enshrine these bonds as they adopt Australia and become valued members of society.

The main ethnic Chinese are from China, Hong Kong, Macau, East Timor, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia and Laos. The one great common denominator is that all of Sydney’s Asian community take great pride and real care in honouring long held tradition and beliefs with the finest event and festival celebrations they can produce with the time and resources at hand.

Chinese New Year Events Around Australia

Monday February 8 is Chinese New Year and it sets off the Year of the Monkey. Having a Monkey ascendant in my own Chinese horoscope I am hoping for a fun filled year; in the tradition of the playful monkey. There will be a host of events and happenings to celebrate the Chinese New Year around Australia. Here are a few of them that you might like to attend:

The City of Sydney is celebrating twenty years of the Chinese New Year Festival in the premier state. Festival curator, Claudia Chan Shaw recently was quoted as saying, “I grew up in Sydney and the Chinese New Year celebrations have always been a highlight for our family”. There are eighty events happening in Sydney from New Year to the 21 February 2016. The incredible Lunar Lanterns will light up the city with the twelve animals from the Chinese zodiac. Being a dragon, myself, I am sure that this will be the most impressive of all the giant lanterns. Then K-Pop superstars Boyfriend and JJCC perform at the Carriageworks for two nights. There will also be a Lunar feast with some amazing Chinese menus at Spice Temple and Bennelong at the Opera House. Dragon boat racing on the harbour will be full of furious fun, colour and noise.

In Melbourne the Lunar Markets will pop up for eleven days from the 4 Feb to 14 Feb 2016. Celebrate with great Asian food, drinks and live music at the Harbour Esplanade Docklands from 4pm to 9pm or 10pm on Thurs, Friday and Saturday. Chinese lanterns will colour the night sky and fun for all the family will be there to have.

In Perth around Northbridge, the home of Chinese restaurants, there will be the annual Chinese New Year Fair and this takes place on 14 February from 12pm to 9pm. This massive free street carnival attracts tens of thousands of West Australians and is a riot of colour and noise.

In Adelaide the 2016 Lunar New Year Street Party will unveil the year of the monkey. Taking place in Chinatown on Mounta and Gouger Streets on Sunday 13 February from 12pm to 10.30pm. This lively annual event attracts in excess of twenty thousand people and is full of colour, sounds and sights. A great day and night of family entertainment under the stars in Adelaide; don’t miss out!

Matsuri Festival in Darling Harbour

The Matsuri Festival in Darling Harbour is Sydney’s largest Japanese cultural event. Held over one day during the first week of November it is an exciting mixture of exhibition, performances and yummy food stalls, the latter always being reason for the ACM Group team to cover an event. Isn’t it so true that it is food that brings people together; especially in this country. There are dancers, martial artists, drumming groups, singers and so much more all happening on this jam packed day. You get the full gamut of all things Japanese, from traditional forms to funky creative offshoots. I think I’m turning Japanese, turning Japanese, I really think so!

The exhibition side of the Matsuri Festival offers a great opportunity for those thinking about travelling to Japan for a holiday or work. Japanese airlines have display booths, tourist operators, government and consular officials and accommodation providers are all there with lots of inspiring information. Meet the Kumamoto Castle’s Hospitality Samurai Squad and discover one of Japan’s premier tourist attractions. The Tokyo Disney Resort is “where dreams come true”, at this amazing theme park in Japan; find out about it here at Matsuri. The Sydney Japanese International School has a stand to promote their bilingual primary school in Terrey Hills.

Food opens doors to people’s hearts via their appreciative taste buds and tummies. Yummy Japanese food has been wowing Sydneysiders for decades and there is a great range of stalls at Matsuri. Izakaya food is here, as well as sushi, noodles, teppanyaki, and so much more. Grab a lunch box or a sushi roll, try Kanazawa black curry, Japanese fish cakes on a skewer and wash it down with a sugarcane drink. Japanese food is clean and healthy; and mostly fat free.

While I was eating my delicious Japanese food I watched the Hula Aloha Hawaiian Group of Japanese women doing traditional Hawaiian dance. Then the high intensity Mad Unity Dance and boy does this dance crew have some moves. Following this the karate was on and the combat routines were breath taking. There was Japanese folk dancing, plus Soran dance, and the Wadaiko Rindo Sydney drumming troupe; who were full of spirit. The haunting sounds of the shakuhachi had me spellbound and transported me to a sanctuary in some mountain top hideaway in my imagination; very beautiful music. You really get the incredible diversity of the Japanese soul; it comes in so many unusual forms and flavours. The Matsuri Festival is a very rewarding experience and I am already looking forward to 2016.

Dragon Boat Racing Every Week in Sydney


Every week in Sydney, hundreds of ‘dragon boaties’ are getting on the water and having the time of their lives. This fast and furious sport is taking off in a big way in the Harbour City. Crews are competing throughout the regions of this city and through NSW. Participants are hailing the experience for its fitness factor, social networking, stress releasing, and pure unadulterated fun. In dragon boating it is all about the team, as everyone pulls together to get the job done; getting over that finishing line first.

 

The noise and excitement is paramount, especially on race days. The laughter and whoops of joy echo out across the water, as teams of dragon boats charge forth in a fury of paddling. Clubs are still looking for new members all the time, as the sport continues to grown and capture the interest of Sydneysiders. People are passionate about dragon boat racing, there is no escaping that, and that passion is spreading like wildfire. Families are getting onboard and friends are co-opting other friends to get involved.

Dragon boat racing began in China about two thousand years ago, with roots in the traditional religious practice of appeasing the rain gods. Later on, a great warrior poet killed himself in the river Mi Lo in protest against political corruption and dragon boat racing began as a celebration of his sacrifice. Now, it is a vital part of their culture and symbolises the patriotic teamwork imbued within the nation as a whole. The country paddles together to achieve greatness on the world stage.

Colour is everywhere during the racing events, here in Sydney, with teams wearing matching colours representing their clubs. Regattas are held on Manly Dam, Bayview, Sydney International Regatta Centre, Darling Harbour, Lake Jindabyne, and other regional centres in NSW. Sponsors and partners of Dragon Boats NSW include: Ricoh, Trans Crane, Regatta Sport, NSW Sports Federation, NSW Transport Roads & Maritime, NSW Office of Communities Sport & Recreation, Sydney International Regatta Centre Penrith Lakes and Wholesale Trophies.

Dragon boat clubs, generally, train in the evening during weekdays and compete in the mornings on weekends. For those who are good enough there are opportunities to compete nationally and internationally. For more than twenty years, now, there has been dragon boat racing every week in Sydney. The sport has become part of the Australian outdoor lifestyle; promoting fun and fitness for all.

Inspirational Quotes



ACM Group Sydney

 

In order to develop a certain inner progress the artist’s thing is very much influential and helpful. I mean, helpful as well as harmful.. It depends on the meaning that the artist is conveying.. Now, you see, certain art is made to have an impact on hatred, or anger, such things.. and that is harmful.. In any way, the artists with their art, and with this ritual thing, have powerful means to give a message… – Dalai Lama

As you have been saying this I have been thinking that there are.. I have heard of, two ways of doing paintings.. One is that a person thinks beforehand in thought of what the painting will be.. and then paints it out.. And that would be like the thought approach.. But then there is another one, where the person does not think about it beforehand, but just spontaneously does whatever seems appropriate.. And that would be a thoughtless approach, even throwing paint onto the canvas and so forth, but a work of art coming out. – Dalai Lama
It seems that with the artist, first there is the inner feeling and the thought, and then there is the expression of this in an artistic way.. whereas for the audience there is first the reception of this expression and then a change in thought. – Dalai Lama

Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it. – Confucius

Art reaches its greatest peak when devoid of self-consciousness. Freedom discovers man the moment he loses concern over what impression he is making or about to make. ~Bruce Lee

It has been said that art is a tryst, for in the joy of it maker and beholder meet. ~ Kojiro Tomita