I was in another thread about ethnicity where we were asked to name our heritage/where were from. A lot of people chose to write about blood. A few chose to write about country. And a few more chose to mention how they were Australian but because the way they looked, it was assumed they weren't.
This is a quote from the other thread:
Would you consider a query like this racist or just plain curious?What I find interesting is what people consider "Australian"/"Aussie". From what I've observed it seems that the majority consider anyone caucasian with parents or further back born here as "aussie".
I was born here... doesn't that make me an Aussie?
My husband was born here, so he's an Aussie right?
Our baby will be born here next week so he/she is an Aussie?
We do not look like what most consider typical "aussies". But as we get into
3rd, 4th, 5th etc generation of multicultural background Australians I sure hope the majority will accept that is what Aussies are now. And stop asking me so where are you from?... Uhhh I was born here....
Has anyone mistaken your background/origins/ethnicity for something else?
Then there's another angle illustrated by this quote:
What do you consider racism to be...or not to be?On the matter of of what is Australian, at work I have to ask people over the phone if they identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait islander, an alarming amount of (mainly older) people say "No, I'm Australian"............Ahhhh, yeah, so are they.
That is the question.
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09-07-2014 23:13 #1
Racist or Just Plain Curious? (spin off)
Last edited by Mrs Tickle; 09-07-2014 at 23:17.
09-07-2014 23:16 #2Senior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
I'm Australian and parents and grandparents were born here. I work as a nurse and a lot of the Italian patients have asked me if I'm Italian and ask me about my heritage . I find it hilarious! I have no Italian at all in my family! So no I'm not offended if people ask me what my ethnic background is, I just tell them.
09-07-2014 23:25 #3
Racism is attributing a negative trait to all people of a race, so what you've listed, no I don't think it's racist.
My DH is about 4th-5th generation Australian. All his sibs look 'Caucasian' but he has black hair, olive skin, hairy lol he looks South American. I asked him when we got together is he had south American heritage. Turns out his maternal grandmother was Chilian, and despite all his sibs looking 'white' he doesn't.
I think what you are referring to is people being interested in heritage. Yes DH is Australian, but his heritage is Chilian, not Australian. That doesn't mean he's not an Aussie. Just that his roots (and looks) aren't from Australia.
The Following User Says Thank You to delirium For This Useful Post:
Mrs Tickle (09-07-2014)
09-07-2014 23:28 #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2012
- Brisbane North
I was born here, but always get "'so are you Croation, Russian, German or Italian?" .... um none... ! lol. or I get "so where is your accent from"?... and im thinking ''what accent?!". I don't have an accent. and get told I look like a blonde blue eyed European...whatever they are supposed to look like. lol.
09-07-2014 23:35 #5
I get asked where I am from quite a bit. I've even had people mock my apparent accent. Whatever goes... I have pale skin and blue eyes so I'm not sure where people think I'm from. I don't think there is any harm in someone asking though. I reply with 'Australia' and generally ask them where they are from as well.
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09-07-2014 23:36 #6
True, racism involves the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
So yes, what I was listing refers to ethnicity or heritage as you put it. However, it was interesting to note that not everyone viewed it that way. And to be honest, I find that the two are routinely confused in public conversation and everyday life.
As I mentioned in another thread, I am routinely quizzed about my looks, accent and actually told that my answers to their questions aren't right. That I'm this or that. Is this ignorance a form or racism or just plain ignorance?
Delerium, I note you refer to your DH as having "black hair, olive skin, hairy", not white like his siblings but then go onto say that his looks aren't from Australia. Does this mean being white is?
I find that intriguing. What is from Australia? What is an Australian?
Like I said, I think it's a really interesting topic.
09-07-2014 23:47 #7Senior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2011
I'm often asked about my ethnic background and have never found it offensive. People are generally curious, and it often leads to an interesting conversation.
09-07-2014 23:54 #8
It's most definitely an interesting topic. I guess I asked him what his heritage was bc all his family look very Caucasian. He looks different to the others. Had all of them looked South American I would have just assumed his grandparents had moved out here (since his mother doesn't have an accent).
09-07-2014 23:56 #9
Sorry to derail...but delirium, I just realized that was you! Where's crazy cat lady?!
As you were....
10-07-2014 00:08 #10Senior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
I don't think it's racist but it can be annoying/repetitive being asked "Where are you from?" "What's your heritage?" Is fine IMO. My Grandparents would ask "Where are your people from?"
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