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Hey,
I'm posting my reply to Emma here, because it's getting to confusing on the comments part & because it seems to be a controversial topic, it'd probably benefit from a longer discussion.

Anyway I don't know if I'm "bang with the numbers". I don't really know what that means and I'm very sure that there are other ways to look at Australia, but I still don't believe there should be such an emphasis of pride in one's nation/nationality. People have killed and died from the idea of nationalism. Anywya: flags = symbols. Symbols are a pretty powerful thing, because they represent certain concepts. The Australian flag has no reference to the Indigenous people of Australia. Although Rudd has officially apologised on behalf of the nation, it doesn't necessarily mean the actions that have been implemented reflect one people working on the same goal. I mean, these two flags (IA & 'Aust) reflect two nations living in the one country, it implies two separate peoples. I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing, but i know it's significant.

A very very significant and large majority of this country is Caucasian, a very large and significant number are the people who represent us in parliament. A very large and significant number of those people representing us are monolingual. The large majority of those that are represented on our televisions, advertisements, popular media of all sorts are Caucasian. If Australia is so multicultural, why is it not reflected in these sectors of society?

TV is a mass consumed form of pop culture and in many ways (not all) can reflect the attitudes of the public majority. For example, if you want to know a little bit more about people's attitudes towards Islamic people, pay attention to what is being said on shows like; Border Security, Channel 9 news, Today Tonight, etc. You'll notice that there is an underlying tone of phobia towards Islamic people as fundamentalists etc.

Certainly the cities in Australia are quite multicultural, but going out a bit further, if you want to look at how people still see people with a different skin colour and assume that they are "different". This is indeed a form of racism, whether you consciously or subconsiously assume this. Sometimes people say things like; all Africans are really fast and good at running. It's a positive statement right? But it stereotypes people into a category and that is the danger of racism.

Anyway, please don't assume that I didn't research or know anything about Australia. Just because I disagree with nationalism or what the Australian flag represents, does not mean I "hate" Australia. It doesn't mean I'm not thankful to live in a country where I am able to move freely and be less repressed compared to other countries. BUT, it also gives me the right to criticise and analyse what I observe. And I might not be necessarily entirely right, but I do aim to present what I think about a subject to the best of my ability.




Comment by Emma Stronach 6 hours ago

Wikipedia has an interesting article on Australian demographics. You're pretty bang on with the numbers Mulchy, but numbers don't tell you everything. For example, English is the language spoken at home in only 80 % of households. That means that 20 % of Australians are bilingual. So cool. The section on Australian Culture is really interesting:

"Since 1788, the primary basis of Australian culture has been Anglo-Celtic, although distinctive Australian features soon arose from the country's unique environment and the pre-existing indigenous culture. Over the past 50 years, Australian culture has been strongly influenced by American popular culture (particularly television and cinema), large-scale immigration from non-English-speaking countries and Australia's Asian neighbours. Australian literature, cinema, opera, music, painting, theatre, dance, and crafts has achieved international recognition."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Australia

I don't know about tv, but I do know about art. You'll search hard to find a scene more diverse and multicultural than the Australian Art scene.

Think about your local shopping area, how many different types of cuisines there are. What about the local school? How many different nationalities are there in the kindergarten class?

Basically, I am trying to say, I don't ever expect to change your mind or point of view, but I would like to let you know that there are different ways of thinking about things. Australia is an incredibly diverse and fascinating country. Don't just dismiss it because of a "feeling", research, read everything and then think about what you like about the place.
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Tags: Australia, flag, multiculturalism, nationalism, racism

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Replies to This Discussion

Man, I was going to write a proper reply to this, but I have the flu and I really can't be bothered.

When I discuss issues such as this, particularly on a debate that has been chewed over by the greatest minds in Australia for decades, I like to back up what I say with evidence.

I don't know if this is the first time you have attempted to engage in a discussion about Australian nationalism, but I wish you'd provide me with facts to back up your theory rather than sweeping generalisations. If you have specific examples of racist anti-islamic sentiments being offered up to us by the commerical channels, I would be fascinated to see it.

I do my best to avoid shows like "Border Security, Channel 9 news, Today Tonight, etc. " because they're crap.

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