Multicultural experiences

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Chris_B Welcome to the Multicultural Experiences section
  • replies: 0

Hi everyone, Welcome to the Multicultural Experiences section, a sub-forum within the wider beyondblue forum community. beyondblue acknowledges and respects the diversity of communities across Australia, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islande... View more

Hi everyone, Welcome to the Multicultural Experiences section, a sub-forum within the wider beyondblue forum community. beyondblue acknowledges and respects the diversity of communities across Australia, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Australians. beyondblue also recognises the complexities of identity and that people may identify with more than one community. Depression, anxiety and suicide can affect any of us at any time – regardless of our culture or background. We also know that a range of factors can make it harder for people in some communities to seek and access support. This section is for members born overseas, are the children of parents born overseas, have a language other than English as your primary language, or come from a family with mixed cultural heritage. Please be aware that posts in this forum may contain discussions of suicide, self-harm and/or traumatic life events. As per our community rules, please be mindful when posting about the level of detail you share on these topics as it can be upsetting for other members. We look forward to hearing your stories. Become a Multicultural Correspondent Are you from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background? Are you interested in being a regular contributor to this section? We are seeking members who will actively participate in discussions and start up new threads on topics of interest to CALD communities (6-10 quality posts per week). Please get in touch with our team to discuss.

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Samadhi-Enjoyer Moving countries because of cultural differences; is it worth it?
  • replies: 4

So I've grown up in Tasmania as a mixed race European (Eastern-European/South-East Asian) and disregarding colour differences, I feel a sense of disconnection from my current culture. I tried my best to be 'True-Blue' in order to find belonging but t... View more

So I've grown up in Tasmania as a mixed race European (Eastern-European/South-East Asian) and disregarding colour differences, I feel a sense of disconnection from my current culture. I tried my best to be 'True-Blue' in order to find belonging but the more I dive deep into my personality and what I liked/disliked, I came to the conclusion that I don't belong amongst Australians. Of course, I'm under no incentive to perfectly fit a mold, yet I find myself thinking I can fit a little better in a different culture. I find myself quite rigid and rule-focused and have always disliked disorder and imprecision in daily life (ambiguous waiting lines drive me crazy), which is highly contrary to the laidback 'she'll be right mate' culture I'm surrounded by. I feel that if I even slightly give off the impression that I'm "better" (just different, not better) than them (i.e. pursuing higher education, going to museums, etc.) I'm 'un-Australian'. You can disagree with me about your impressions of the culture but these have been mine. I fully understand becoming an expat comes with many challenges and I'm confident enough to say I will gladly endure them. This isn't the only reason why I want to move, but I'll say it's a big one. But is doing so in order to find the right cultural "fit" a silly endeavor?

tmas Exploring mixed heritage
  • replies: 8

Not sure what I'll get from this, but maybe anyone who could relate? I want to know the experiences of people who are mixed but were raised with only the white side of their family. I am at a point where I am curious about my heritage and background,... View more

Not sure what I'll get from this, but maybe anyone who could relate? I want to know the experiences of people who are mixed but were raised with only the white side of their family. I am at a point where I am curious about my heritage and background, but feel 1) like an imposter, and 2) like it would hurt the family that raised me. I know my family, being white Australians, don't see "why it matters" that I know, but to not know what my background was until I was 17 while the world around me hid nothing of their guesses and assumptions, weighed on me for several years. My sibling (raised with them, it was assumed I knew we were half but my childish naiveté didn't pick up on it until high school despite being visibly different ethnicities) told me how a peer at university approached them to join the students-of-colour board, and this was the first time it struck them the rest of the world didn't perceive them as white. I wish I knew the language, but I could never learn the correct dialect. I feel I have no claim to the history, I have no right to call myself the grandchild of immigrants when I didn't know this fact until I was 18. How could I make contact with extended family when I have no cultural connection to them? I don't have access to medical history. I was (sometimes still instinctually am) insecure about my appearance, and have to check myself - when I instinctually resent my nose shape or my flat eyelashes, or dark hair, I have to remind myself that I am comparing myself to an anglo standard that I always felt I was failing before I realised I was mixed. When strangers asked me if I was [insert background/nationality], or saw my birth name and called me exotic, or told me that "blood is blood" and I should be "proud of my sexy Latina background", accused me of fake tanning every summer because I turned yellow instead of pink, said I wasn't "fiery/curvy" enough to be Latina, assumed my sibling was a baby-sitter, said I was "choosing to be white" so had no right to talk about race, how am I supposed to feel? Embracing the culture feels wrong, I can't fight the feeling that I would be spiting my family given the complicated family situation. I also don't want to know the parent themselves, maybe my extended family - also complicated and not for right now. Would learning Spanish be over stepping?

Aj04 Dating as an Indian man
  • replies: 1

For some context, I am a 19-year-old man of Indian Origin, and I moved to Australia when I was three, so I'm pretty much an aussie. My experience with women has been non-existent. I'm still a virgin, I haven't even kissed anybody. I have many female ... View more

For some context, I am a 19-year-old man of Indian Origin, and I moved to Australia when I was three, so I'm pretty much an aussie. My experience with women has been non-existent. I'm still a virgin, I haven't even kissed anybody. I have many female friends, but I only see them as friends, so it proves that I can talk to women. I don't trust these thoughts in my head, but I feel like in the back of my mind, very few women want to date an indian guy. I am well aware of the negative stereotypes associated with indian men. The fact that we're labelled as creeps. Even my own sister said that she would never date an indian guy, and that makes me feel even worse. I am a pretty short guy too (around 5 foot 4) so it could be this, but there are girls a lot shorter than me who still wouldnt see me as dating potential. I just feel like women look at me and immediately think "creep". I am also quite dark for an indian guy, and colourism is quite prevalent in indian culture, so I feel like a lot of indian chicks wouldnt date me either. I just feel lonely and lost and I feel ashamed that I still haven't dated at all.

chpouy struggling on finding help
  • replies: 3

Being a child of samoan parents can be very difficult sometimes. I struggle to open up to my parents emotionally because of emotional traumatic experiences i’ve witnessed with my siblings when I was little. My parents don’t understand mental health b... View more

Being a child of samoan parents can be very difficult sometimes. I struggle to open up to my parents emotionally because of emotional traumatic experiences i’ve witnessed with my siblings when I was little. My parents don’t understand mental health because of the generational trauma they faced, they never learnt about depression or anxiety, they just learnt how to keep quiet about their emotions. This lead me to the point where I can never ever talk to them about my mental health at all. It’s very unhealthy because every now and then I bottle up so many repressed emotions to the point where I break down alone in my room. Not only that but my mother has a victim complex, she will think that I can never feel depressed or sad because I don’t have it as bad like she does. If i did open up to them they will lecture me about how I shouldn’t feel this way or what’s causing me to feel sad like, “it’s because your lazy” or “it’s because of your phone”. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for the things they provided me, but sometimes what I need isn’t always materialistic. It’s very hard for me to be mad at them because I know they didn’t have that kind of support growing up and right now I don’t have the support either. I’m scared about asking to see a therapist because I know it can be costly, and I know that my mother would use it against me if I didn’t do something she liked. This trend of not being able to open up within polynesian families is such a big issue that keeps me tied to not speaking up about how I feel. I feel so alone within my own family just because I don’t have that emotional support from them. In their eyes I can never be depressed because of the fact that I’m still a teenager. But I shouldn’t be feeling this way at such a young age. This generational trauma breaks my heart every time, all my siblings have been faced with the same emotional trauma and I don’t think they can help themselves as well. Right now, my only support of emotional support is through the school youths peoples or my friends.

KaiShirou A mental health student seeking multicultural answers
  • replies: 2

Hi all, I am an international student who is currently studying counselling and coaching, and it has been quite a ride while I have been here the last 2 years. Having come from a country where I did not feel like I belonged and having had sentiments ... View more

Hi all, I am an international student who is currently studying counselling and coaching, and it has been quite a ride while I have been here the last 2 years. Having come from a country where I did not feel like I belonged and having had sentiments flung at me in my youth where, "if you didn't like it here, then why not just leave?". This did not help with constant feelings of being ostracised even as I grew, gotten a diploma for creative arts and work. It doesn't help that I identified as LGBTQIA+ and lived in a country of conservatism and traditionalism. I had felt occasional empowerment through my own autonomy to initiate and do things like take on coaching training while working in an educational institute. However, even that was not enough when an incident happened that really shook me to the core and really touched on the old wounds of feeling ostracised. I felt enough was enough, and made plans to come here to Australia to study since I could not get creative jobs due to the lack of market and high competitivity in my country of origin. So over the past 2 years, I hadn't really experienced Australia enough, but initial experiences made me feel quite welcomed with open arms for a while. Then I guess the excitement of meeting new people wore off, and I was back to where I was. Reflecting on the past, I don't know if this is the result of some personality disorder or some other thing which I am not aware of. I can sufficiently present myself albeit with tentativeness since I do have performance anxiety, and I can empathise with others, yet feel insecure about putting myself into the conversation unless it has purpose to help the other. Sometimes I catch myself acting in response from a place of hurt, but it's hard to really know when I don't have someone who can understand and discuss this with me. I do live with my partner, but they don't have the same emotional depth and ability to empathise in this manner. Likewise with friends because I just drop whatever I was feeling to focus on them when they share about themselves. So here I am, feeling kind of worn out and still trying to make sense of my own intersectionality, living in this controversial world that is still rife with various forms of injustices. I'm trying to do my best, but it feels like a one sided effort. And caring is the only way I can really push myself to still keep going, but I don't know if this is a sustainable way to do it.

Baljit International students - Integration Strategies
  • replies: 5

Hi All, Being a British born Sikh, who migrated from the UK to Australia with my family, I was reflecting how challenging the transition was especially when it came to leaving our family and friends back in the UK, and even now couple of years on we ... View more

Hi All, Being a British born Sikh, who migrated from the UK to Australia with my family, I was reflecting how challenging the transition was especially when it came to leaving our family and friends back in the UK, and even now couple of years on we all still experience a level of loneliness. This got me thinking regarding how international students, (whose second language is English), cope with the transition to a new country, especially if they travel on their own and do have not have any family or friends at their final destination. Therefore, it would be really useful to hear from individuals who have experienced this journey, in regards to: 1. What strategies did/or you implement when you are feeling lonely? 2. What support network, did/do you have available (ie Gurdwara, Temple, Mosque, Church, social networks etc?) 3. What was the most difficult part of your transition? I am hoping that by sharing this information, it will support others and start a group conversation Many thanks in advance…

darkenedsun Triggered by possibility of an arranged marriage
  • replies: 5

I am South Asian woman in my mid-twenties living in Australia and I recently completed my Bachelor and am doing all things visa and finding work and what not. You know about the invisible timeline set by society (from what I know and have seen in my ... View more

I am South Asian woman in my mid-twenties living in Australia and I recently completed my Bachelor and am doing all things visa and finding work and what not. You know about the invisible timeline set by society (from what I know and have seen in my South Asian culture, especially in my country), where you graduate high school, go to uni, get a degree, find a job and get married have kids.. that sort of timeline... Well, I told some news to my parents that is related to my career that makes me happy, it's sort of the culmination of the Bachelor that I studied. They congratulated me and started going on about the timeline I mentioned above, especially marriage. Now, marriage is a subject that I know triggers me cause I've seen and lived among some horrible marriages filled with abuse, violence, belittling, degrading, disrespectful and just absolutely horrible. I'm trying to work through some of the trauma and heal but I haven't been able to see my therapist because of money issues.. she's experienced in dealing with trauma and stuff and we had a good relationship going where I could actually be vulnerable to her about my trauma and we did some good work. Anyway, then my parents go on about finding me a husband and I'm like no no that's not necessary and just tried to gloss over it and change the subject which I did. Just minutes after, I am feeling absolutely horrible, I feel like I'm going to spiral out of control, shaking and scared out of my wits. I feel like puking.. I feel like this an unreasonable way to react and if I had been at home when this happened I would've lost it. I'm so scared.. I don't want to be abused and degraded and disrespected by someone I will have to consider a partner... I'm really confused and scared even though this hasn't even happened yet. When my dad puts his mind to something he does not give up, he will do anything to get his way, he will guilt trip me into doing things I don't want to do. Although I have been setting stronger boundaries and staying away from the people pleasing I feel like the work I've done would wash away and say yes to stuff I don't even want, because it's him asking me.. I am so scared.. Help? Am I thinking too much?

asianaussie Experienced a Casual Racist incident at my workplace.
  • replies: 17

Hi, so I currently work for a spa company as a Massage Therapist, for a few months now. I happen to be the only non-white staff in this workplace. The staff have been professional, but I don't feel they like me very much. Things had been going okay u... View more

Hi, so I currently work for a spa company as a Massage Therapist, for a few months now. I happen to be the only non-white staff in this workplace. The staff have been professional, but I don't feel they like me very much. Things had been going okay until a few weeks ago, when a customer used a toilet in a squatting position and broke the seat. Additionally, faeces and urine was also left on the floor. I was called up by my boss, for a 'disciplinary discussion'. Usually warm and friendly, she sternly informed that a staff member had reported to her about me. She mentioned that the staff said that 'I was a Chinese student' (I'm actually Australian born), and so I needed to know and respect 'Australian conducts and professional rules', going on to talk about 'proper toilet usage' and 'interacting with others'. I tried to clarify and stand to her that I was not responsible, even going as far as to give her my shoe size as proof. She didn't believe me, saying 'she wasn't sure if I was telling the truth', and as a result, ordered me to undergo 'additional training' and also be accompanied by one of the front house attendants during massages and assisting with customers. Eventually, she reviewed CCTV footage and realised that it really was someone else, she apologised and backtracked on her actions, although she said it laughing and cheerily. But the damage had already been done. The whole team knows this and don't trust me, even some ignoring or scolding me to 'watch the mess' and 'remember to do this do that'. Although I understand I have only worked a few months, there have been others who started work around the same time and don't get the wariness and suspicion as I do. I've dealt with racial bullying, harassment and discrimination in my life, but this incident has really soured my trust with the company. Especially that they said in their T&C's that discrimination against race would result in 'action' and 'suspension'. Each day that I go to work, I feel shame, humiliation and outcasted, and I struggle everyday to feel like I fit in and trust the team again. I dislike 'standing out' as an 'Asian' and having some people point that out. But I can't leave because I'm on a 1-year contract, and I need money anyway to pay for my needs.

blueskye Interracial Dating - How to overcome Walls
  • replies: 13

I'm Australian born and my ethnicity is Chinese. My partner is Western. Being in an interracial relationship comes with walls/issues that would not have been there if I dated someone else with the same ethnic background. Issues that I came across wit... View more

I'm Australian born and my ethnicity is Chinese. My partner is Western. Being in an interracial relationship comes with walls/issues that would not have been there if I dated someone else with the same ethnic background. Issues that I came across with my partner included - language barrier (he can't speak Chinese so he can't communicate with my Mum), not understanding traditions (e.g. no shoes inside the house), other people assume I'm a gold-digger (when I actually pay for everything), his family initially thought I was temporary (an international student or studying exchange from Asia, his family initially thought I didn't know English (his Mum spoke extra slow with me when we first had a chat, even though I can speak English just fine), etc. The list goes on. ** The question to those in interracial relationships - How do YOU deal with problems from your relationship? ** With me, I tried my best to educate my partner, his family and others. If his family said something I considered not funny because it was racist, I wouldn't laugh. Instead, I maintained a deadpan face. It seems to be working because there hasn't been any racist comment for ages. Apart from my deadpan face, I'm my fabulous self to his family. I show them then I love my partner and that our relationship is awesome. My partner has adapted to comply with my culture and is very stubborn about remaining in a relationship with me, which I love. At the end of the day, it's our relationship, not anyone else's. I think we look very cute together!

Sophia16 Ethnic dad with anger issues
  • replies: 21

Hi guys, I'm just really annoyed at my dad. He doesn't respect my mother, who has given him everything. She is the only one that works in the household since my dad has a broken leg. She pays for everything, she cooks and she cleans. My dad doesn't a... View more

Hi guys, I'm just really annoyed at my dad. He doesn't respect my mother, who has given him everything. She is the only one that works in the household since my dad has a broken leg. She pays for everything, she cooks and she cleans. My dad doesn't appreciate anything she does. and to top it off, he treats her parents with no respect. He stresses my mum out. I asked my mum to divorce him but she said no because he has good qualities about him. He literally emotionally abuses me, my sister and my mum. I seriously don't know what to do. I am not allowed to move out until I'm married. Everything is just hard.