When you’re a first or second generation Australian, it can be hard balancing your ethnic and Australian cultural identities. You might think you have to choose one or the other, or maybe you’re unsure of how to work through conflicts between the two. Sometimes, other people might even make you feel like part of your identity is ‘wrong’ – but that isn’t true. You deserve to feel proud of who you are, and it’s okay if it takes some time to figure out what that actually is.
Hear from Monica, who’s South-Sudanese Australian; Krushnadevsinh, who’s Indian Australian; and Michael, who’s Chinese-Singaporean Australian, about how they learnt to overcome insecurities about their cultural identity.
There's a big Indian community out there. And now I just get out there...and not be ashamed of posting on Instagram, for example, a photo of me in my cultural clothing, or a photo of music that I'm listening to is Indian music, I'm not afraid of that.
Here are some of Monica, Krushnadevsinh and Michael’s top tips that helped them to accept their cultural identities and be proud of who they are:
- Look for role models who look like you in movies, music and the media.
- Look for community and cultural groups – they can be in person or online. There are people who cook foods from your culture, share cultural music, or celebrate events that you do. If you reach out, you’ll realise that you’re not alone in this experience.
- Self-discovery is an ongoing thing. It’s okay to go at your own pace and find what works for you.
What can I do now?
- Get some tips on how to deal with racism.
- Learn how to cope when things happen overseas outside of your control.
- Find some culturally diverse help-seeking services.