Colour prejudice

A mixture of skin colours is commonplace in Asia. Apart from some Indian mothers seeking ‘fair’ wives for their sons (irrespective of the colour of the men), differences in skin colour do not influence human relations as much as other criteria. Genetic mixing for some, or habituation in social contact, over-ride any ethnic superiority.

Further, white people apparently represent only about 15% of the world’s population. To many Asians, white is not an attractive skin colour. Many, if not most, young white people in Australia seem to agree, judging by their sun-baking.

In my youth, I neither experienced nor observed any colour, religious, or cultural prejudice between the Asians. Apparently British colonials were the only ones sensitive to tinted skin. In Malaya’s capital city, outside the prestigious Selangor Club was a sign which read ‘No chinamen or dogs allowed.’

Early post-war Australia was therefore a shock to me. Being served last in shops, having difficulty in finding accommodation, passengers on a tram preferring to strap-hang, leaving an empty seat next to me, insulting audible comments in pubs and on the streets, slighting remarks about our accents, our food (‘foreign muck’), our preference for spicy (and tastier) foods, and our religions were commonplace.  Because Aborigines were denied access to the pubs, some of us were occasionally challenged as to our ethnicity. Learned ignorance and consequential prejudice is not easy to moderate, much less eliminate. See the ‘The Dance of Destiny’ and ‘Destiny Will Out.’

It was a great comfort to me to find that many of the European immigrants, particularly, the war-displaced refugees, had great respect for Asian cultures. Foreigners also tend to be attracted to one another, exchanging experiences past and present.