Bring up the subject of Australia, and the first image conjured is usually one of handsome, blonde men wrestling with crocodiles, wonderfully tanned women in tank tops, and the British explosion. The image may include a few aboriginals with painted faces, but it doesn’t add an Asian population that has co-existed with Colonial Australia for several hundred years, nor the rising number of aboriginal/ white marriages.
The Asian Fusion
In Australia, the only Asian fusion that has become a big success is in the culinary arts. The two cultures live side by side, but do not mix. Inter-racial marriages are extremely strained, often receiving no support at all from the families. Despite the introduction of civil rights laws, this situation hasn’t changed. There is an undercurrent of hysteria, even toward Australian Chinese whose families have been established for two hundred years.
Inter-racial relationships with an Asian Aussie means you’ll not only receive very little familial support, you will not be very well received in public. You might be snubbed in restaurants, treated rudely in the streets or find few establishments where you’re made to feel welcome. You may find your circle of friends limited, especially if you belong to the over-forty crowd.
If the Asian fusion hasn’t been perfected, there is a definite appetite for swirling. The Afri-Australian interracial relationship is widely accepted among the youthful crowd, and is slowly growing among the older set, but with a little awkwardness. Older family members may grope to find words that are not race offensive, and form assumptions of racial behavior and preferences based on stereotypes.
The Australian interracial relationship can be very enriching as cultural acceptance gives way to learning all the details of what makes your attraction to each other so special. Usually the reason is simply that you were made for each other and the relaxed atmosphere has given your love room to grow.
Aboriginals on the Rise
It’s time to toss aside your ideas about aboriginal huntsmen with painted bodies. That long ago race is nearly extinct. Today’s aboriginals are primarily a mixed race. If somebody tells you they are True Aussies, that means they have at least a little aboriginal blood.
Being part aboriginal is a point of pride. Until the 1970’s however, this wasn’t true. Being of a mixed aboriginal/white race tainted you. It created family shame within the British influenced colonies. It reduced your chances for employment. By law, you were treated like other aboriginals, which meant you really had no rights at all.
Anti-discriminatory legislation opened the doors for aboriginal mixed race acceptance, but it’s still a bumpy road. Aboriginals and mixed race aboriginals are still among the most poverty stricken Australians. They live primarily in disadvantaged areas, with limited access to higher education, transportation and business opportunities.
Australia likes to believe it’s an egalitarian society, and in some ways this is true. There are equal opportunities for those who find themselves in the right place at the right time, and you should never judge an Aussie on appearances. The wealthy might like to dress down to blend in with the general public, while the poor might just dress up, investing in an automobile and clothing way beyond their limited budget.
For interracial relationships in Australia, it’s an uphill battle, but one filled with hope. Statistics show that over half the younger generation claims mixed race, which means the number of True Aussies are rising, with an exciting new platform for inter-racial commitments.