Saturday, October 3, 2009

Multiculturalism in Australia

A children's quiz show. One team is from an Islamic school in Sydney, the girl in Hijab. The MC constantly mispronounces the boy's name, says it in about 10 different ways (couldn't he find out before the show???) and then the kids have to answer questions about a stupid video clip which shows, of all things, pigs being forced to race and doing the long jump. Great sensitivity. In general you'd better not have a non-Anglo name here, and expect people to go to the effort of finding out how to pronounce it correctly.

At our school Nechama (like the ch in bach) becomes Nehama, or Netshama etc etc. The gardner at our complex keeps on wishing me happy Christmas, and when I show her some tomatos I am growing, says they'll be great for my Christmas table, despite me pointedly telling her I don't celebrate Christmas. But most Australians have never had to confront or intergrate the other in any kind of sustained, daily way, and so are very obtuse in this regard.

Australia is a desert
of Macdonalds resteraunts
and tatooed men in bars
huge abbatoirs
and paper thin discourses
a human desert
no great writers
because the

Australia as a collective has only thought about certain issues deeply, and others only a tokenistic effort has been made, such as the cha;llenges of diversity, and dealing with resentment and predjudice.

eich beeretz hanofesh?
shatuach veshitchi ve sterili

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