Citizenship vs. Ethnic identity

Are these 2 concepts contradictory? Not necessarily. Were a national government to emphasise:

  • pride in a shared citizenship
  • citizens integrating culturally, as in a goulash, curry, or stir-fried edibles of a wide variety (not as in an English salad)
  • equal opportunity available under the law, in employment, in services, etc. (unlike the cheap labour provided to parts of Europe by former colonial subjects)
  • the avoidance of ethnic enclaves, especially ones with a deficiency of necessary public services;

all of the above being the reality of Australia;

rather than the retention of those visible cultural practices which separate the population – often by intent, supported by the excuse of retaining ‘traditional culture’,

then ethnic or cultural identity would be a desirably subsidiary matter, but not competitive.

In the availability of policies offering equality and integration, why would a youngster born in Australia of ethnic ancestry, whether educated in a secular State school, or a religious school, choose to wear in public places a turban, or a skull cap, or a full-body-cover niqab, or even a hijab or a scarf covering the head, especially if he/she were a third-generation Australian? Surrounded by a wide variety of ethnic origins and mother-tongues, as well as by ‘mainstream’ Australians, what are some immigrant parents or their priests saying to their offspring and their multi-ethnic fellow-residents?

‘We are different’? Is that meant to imply ‘We are superior’, even to the host nation? The government of this nation allows immigrants into the country in the expectation of a united, coherent people arising in time from the admixture of ethnicities. It also ensures a secure life, with long-term welfare support. The nation does not need ‘campers’ refusing to become integrated.

Yet, a few of our Muslim immigrants have reportedly stated publicly their displeasure at Australia’s social mores. Why then stay? Other Muslim immigrants seek to have Australia’s long-established institution of law modified to offer sharia law. How so?  Immigrants adapt to the nation they chose to enter; not vice versa! These Muslims are the first and only immigrant individuals who want their ethnic identity to predominate over all other identities.

What are they really saying to the rest of us, when almost all Muslim people are no different from other law-abiding Australians? They are already free to practice those aspects of their culture which are not incompatible with Australia’s institutions and social mores.

What else are they entitled to, and why?

 

The Seekers and the Seers

Many are we who seek to know, perhaps to understand.  We are of all ages. Obviously some of us are more advanced spiritually. Is it surprising that they ask pertinent question, express mature thoughts and insights, have no interest in wealth or power, and live a co-operative life, right from an early age? Eventually, they must surely get to that state which is their destiny. Yet, it is the journey, not the destination, which matters to us Seekers.

What of the Seers? How define them? I see them as gifted in order to make a certain contribution to fellow humans. Do they have to be successful Seekers to become Seers? Apparently not – but that is my subjective view, based only on casual observation. Those intermediaries who are genuine in the practice of their vocation are most useful to us Seekers.

For example, a woman who described herself as a spiritual healer (with guidance from the spirit world) suddenly became still and quiet, while seemingly listening – in the middle of morning tea – and then said to me ‘You should do something with your name. That’s what I have been told.’ Some months later, the clairvoyant conversing with the spirit of my uncle said ‘It is suggested that you can seek to contribute to building a bridge from whence you came to where you now are.’ It took me 2 years to realise that I do have the knowledge and experience to attempt what was suggested.

Eventually, I wrote Destiny Will Out: the experiences of a multicultural Malayan in White Australia under my birth name Arasa. The reviews which followed were splendid. The book will be available soon in ebook form (at $US 2.99) from Amazon Kindle Direct. This was the first of my 3 books on migrant settlement and associated matters (viz. ethnic affairs & multiculturalism, citizenship & national identity, refugee & humanitarian entry, and migrant settlement assistance), all based on personal experience. Underpinning these books is my hope for unity arising from ethnic diversity.