Issue Two: Roots

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I have come to realise that while I have personally found it easy to embrace being Australian, I have not tried to do the same with my Asian roots. The more I think about it, the more I find myself guilty of not trying to get in touch with my background. All but one of my grandparents are Vietnamese. Yet I cannot speak the language. My other grandparent is from Canton, and yet I’ve never been there. I can barely speak the language either. As a result, I can’t communicate with any of my grandparents.

Then, if you were to ask me what I consider to be my second home, I honestly wouldn’t be able to give an answer. The closest I’ve been to Canton is Hong Kong. And while I have been back to Vietnam a few times, it’s been hard to relate to, given my mum still refers to the city as Saigon. Honestly, I probably feel most at home in Singapore, where I spent four months on exchange.

It’s not that I’m confused with my identity. I’m just trying to come to terms with it. And I’m trying to embrace it more than I have for the past 21 years. For example, I am not religious. And yet I now crave to go to temples and keep up with our cultural traditions during Lunar New Year and more. It’s not something I’ve ever tried to do before. And for the foreseeable future, I hope to also develop my language proficiency.

I am an Australian. That’s never been in doubt. But I don’t think I really know too much about the C and V in ABC and ABV. I have the opportunity to learn so much from my roots. And it’s about time I start.