Issue One: Origins

I’m studying law in Århus, Denmark on exchange. Currently, I’m in Munich, celebrating Oktoberfest with a very multicultural group. But being in these international and foreign environments, I feel constantly plagued by an identity crisis. People ask me where I’m from, and the answer ‘Australia’ never seems to satisfy them. Despite being born and raised in Australia, and culturally identifying as Australian, I often feel the need to reinforce my response by stating that my parents (who are also Australian) are of Chinese-Malay descent. And often, if I omit this fact, people feel the need to ask, “but where are you really from?”

Don’t get me wrong. I am proud of my heritage. And my family and I love to celebrate our culture (usually by sharing our love for food). But I often find it irritating that being from ‘Australia’ is never enough to sate people’s curiosity. We live in such a globalised and multicultural society today - and Australia is such a diverse country - can’t people just accept that as an answer?