I grew up between two worlds. School, play and friends were located in the suburbs of Sydney, an area with which I had developed a very intimate familiarity. Once in a while, however, that routine would be interrupted - I was plucked out from the middle of whatever I was doing and dropped on a plane headed half-way across the world to a 'foreign' land known as China. I remember looking out at the expanse of land beneath each flight and feeling as if time would pause, only to resume upon my return.
Looking back, I'm extremely grateful for these escapades. They allowed me to develop a strong bond with my grandparents and relatives at home, as well as to keep true to my heritage. Today, these two things are among the dearest treasures in my life.
As Australian-born Chinese, we live in a chasm between two cultures. We are both Australian and Chinese, yet we are neither. In order for others to recognise who we are, we must first define what we are. And who we are is the best of both worlds. Whether it's combining the diligence and work ethic of Chinese with the optimism and carefree attitude of Australians, mixing Confucian values of filial piety with western norms of treating parents as mates or simply frying dumplings on a barbie, we have the ability to learn the best from both and assimilate each into our unique cultural identity.
The formation of that identity is only just beginning and initiatives like The ABC Issue, as well as your contribution, will make all the difference.