When I was in primary school I had a lot of Yugoslav friends. In high school most of them became Macedonian and would speak about Serbians and Croatians. I had no idea what they were on about, but it seemed important to them.

The major nationalities in my high school were Greek and Lebanese. I did not know if those particular nations had a grudge with each other in the outside world, but in my playground they were battling for dominance. The Vietnamese had plenty of numbers, but they didn’t seem too interested in schoolyard skirmishes.

Full Anglo Aussies, like me, were a minority in my school and didn’t we have a lot of minorities. Aboriginal, Italian, Kiwi, Maori, Indian, Portuguese, Pakistani, Tongan, Samoan, Turkish, Spanish, Chinese, Fijian, Filipino, Maltese, Korean and I don’t know how many I didn’t know or misrepresented. On the whole we got along quite well and enjoyed finding out the funny quirks of each other’s nationalities. It was funny how most of us loved learning how to swear in a different language.

However, when tempers flared, out it flowed; “white cunt!”, “black cunt!”, “wog!”, “fucken Aussie!”, “slap head!”. “Fucken Aussie” was a real insult. So much so that I had a mate who lived in England until he was two and he would point out that he was actually a “Pom” and not an “Aussie”.

One thing I learned in school was that racism is definitely a multi-cultural phenomenon. All nationalities seem to have their targets.

3 thoughts on “Week 11: The Melting Pot

  1. I noticed this a lot in school as well it was as if the students held the grudges that their countries had against each other. To me it seems that this should not happen individuals should not be blamed for what the leaders of a country has done, instead we should embrace each other’s differences and cultures.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Nigel,

    I actually empathise with what you say here. My high school was also a blend of different cultures, and each “friendship group” would mainly consist of one or two same or similar cultures. We also got along quite well, and it was only when “skirmishes” got really heated that the cultural insults got thrown out into the open.

    And that is what I like about your post. It is blunt and honest, and your anecdote adds to its credibility. Although for “formal” purposes, I usually refrain from swearing, and suggest to others not to swear, the swearing in your post adds a personality to the content, as well as makes it more relevant to readers. Maybe replace some of the letters with asterisks instead?

    Thank you for sharing your anecdote.

    Kindest regards,

    Vanessa

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Nigel!
    First of all I really enjoyed reading this post. I found it so refreshing when someone is not afraid to use colloquial language! I feel as though I can relate to your experience, having been surrounded my racial factors at school. Thank you for your honesty as well.

    Ellen.

    Liked by 1 person

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