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Life as an Asian living in Sydney

By Aren Villanueva

Maybe it's just me, or is the the media portraying Asians as monkeys of some sort? I don't know.

I've been living in Australia for the past 14 or so odd years, so I'm no stranger to anything "ozzie". When it comes to slang, I know my share, and there isn't anything better than going to the pub with a few friends and grabbing a few stubbies.

Though I may be quite westernised already, I can never go long without someone asking me "Show me some kung fu?" which is usually met with blank stares from me. Then the all too familiar "C'mon" and terrible mimmicing of something like a grasshopper stance, and when this doesn't cause any reaction from me, then the "play fighting" with my arm commences. At this point I either walk away, or if they are extremely persistent, beat the crap out of them.

I think people around here have been watching too many Jackie Chan and Jet Li movies.

What's even more retarded, is that it's always the other Asians who are bugging me with this question. I mean, I don't go running up walls, accomplishing amazing feats of acrobatics to catch a bus. Nor do I fight super Asian villains. I mean, give me a break!! I'm no monkey!!

When I eat, they also expect me to use chopsticks, and get upset when I don't. But when I do, they laugh and joke "what an Asian". When I speak, they wonder why I don't have that oh so familiar accent.

Asians are always thought of as Bad-asses over here. Being Asian instantly puts you into a gang, or Yakuza of some sort. Walking down the street dressing in anything remotely Asian flavoured for some reason gives me an instant forcefield/aura that deters people from walking into my path. Then, with just a half assed glare, I have people walking diagonally away from me.

Usually this doesn't bother me, but after experiencing it so many times a day, you feel like shooting someone.

I guess that is the problem with this world. You get stereotyped for what the media portrays your race as. I've read an editorial by a man who gets stereotyped by his Japanese co-workers by what they see on TV, on one occassion asking him "How many guns do you have?" without taking into account IF he had any guns to begin with. Link:

Some days I wish I wasn't Asian, other days I'm proud to be.

// End of rant
// Aren Villanueva, Chinese Filipino, Speaks Tagalog and Japanese, currently learning Jeet Kune Do Kung Fu and Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido

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