Friday, November 5, 2010

A cutural and political disaster in the making - two-thirds born here, but only a third call themselves Australian

Multiculturalism and high immigration is succeeding in dividing us into a nation of tribes, and all that the mulculturalists can now say is “don’t panic”:
ABDUL SKAF loves the beach, camping and the Canterbury Bulldogs, and he wants to be a police officer...But like many young people from immigrant backgrounds he finds it hard to call himself Australian…

“If someone asks me my nationality, I’m Lebanese,” he said…

A study of 339 young people aged 14 to 17 who live in Sydney’s west and south-west suburbs found only one-third of them called themselves Australian even though two-thirds were born here.

Instead they identified themselves by their ethnic background as Tongan, Chinese, Lebanese, and so on, and 16 of the indigenous young people identified themselves as Koori or Aboriginal.

Less than half of them also felt ‘’Australian’’ all the time and one-fifth did not feel ‘’Australian’’ at all.

Jock Collins, a professor of economics at the University of Technology, Sydney, who presented findings from the study at a conference in Europe, said the unwillingness of these “cosmopolitan” youth to identify as Australian should not be seen as a problem…

Australian-born Laryn Zabakly, 17, said: “When other people ask my nationality, I tell them the full thing - Syrian-Jordanian-Armenian. But when my parents tell me I’m Arabic, I tell them ‘Nup, I’m Australian.’’..’

For Cansu Sevinc, 14, who came from Turkey when she was five, there is no hesitation: “Turkish,” she said. “I’m proud to be a Turk."…

Yet none have close friends from Anglo backgrounds.

When they move out of familiar territory they sometimes feel uneasy. “I’m more comfortable here than in, say, North Sydney,” Laryn said. Cansu said she might feel more Australian if people from “outside suburbs were more open and friendly”.

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