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.