Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Pondering the problem of duality

Mostly about "citizenship" , I see many calling themselves "Italian Australian"   - but more pertinently "African American". From my point of view, one cannot be both.

Where does one's basic loyalties lay?

If people come to Australia from overseas, take an Oath,  granted "citizenship" .... what do they then call themselves?

Oddly, those who have 'family history' stretching back almost before "Federation" of Australia have never been 'required' to "Swear an Oath" to be loyal to Australia and 'obey it's laws".

......also, am very annoyed about this confusion about the words "aboriginal" and "indigenous" ..
How many generations does it take to become 'indigenous'? The place where i was born. The place where my parents were born. The place where my Grandparents were born.

However, am not of the 'aboriginal' peoples. My 'cultural' history is quite different.

Has also travelled around this vast landscape as a sort of 'gypsy'. Am  aware of what it's like to live in poverty in a desert.


9 comments:

John Gray said...

Some people need to know their past at the same time celebrating their present
It's all about belonging

Anne Johnson said...

I tell my African American students that their ancestors came to America before most white people. They are the Americanest of immigrant Americans ... so yeah, why that Africa part?

Davoh said...

Welcome to Womby's drivel, John. Have had a squizz at yer site and might hafta figure out a way to put it on this side bar .. gah, 'technology'... meh

Davoh said...

Anne, to be honest, people are who they think they are. Was listening to our local (publicly funded - so far the Murdoch minions are almost in control) ABC radio station the other day. Conversations with some of our 'youngish immigrants" .. Question - what do you think
"Australian values are?". They floundered for an answer.
Eventually one came up with " you can be who you want to be?"

If i look seriously at this answer .. no, you can't. You will be beset and besieged by Many laws, lores and 'regulations'.....

But yep, self still thinks that Australia is one of the 'free-est' Nations around this planet ... with it's 'laws', lores, and regulations ..... much to the chagrin of the current Federales ... who still retain the concept that the rich shouloud become richer .. and the poor ... well Rome was GREAT, once upon a time .. and could only exist on the flayed back of slaves ........ meh

Davoh said...

Anne ... if i look at the ancient migrations into what we now call "the Americas" your 'first nations' came from what we now call 'Siberia'.

(and no, but yep, tempted to make an obscure jest - ' from the gulag, so shall ye return' ..).

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Davoh, speaking only for myself, it is quite possible to be more than one nationality, or none. Circumstances originating long before my birth arranged that my father was Russian, my mother French and that I lived in and spoke languages of at least 4 different countries before the age of 10 (France, Paraguay, Brazil, USA) and from then on would add several more countries (Italy, Mexico, Canada, England) and a couple more languages to the mix. But I do not feel I 'belong' to any one of these countries although I have affection for and attachments to them all. I've lived in the UK for a long time and feel at home here, but if I were to move somewhere else (that's not going to happen at my age) I could feel 'at home' elsewhere too. So I'm a kind of world citizen and my 'patriotism' is to the planet as a whole and humanity as a whole. I've never experienced a sense of roots in any one country and that's probably sad, but it doesn't feel sad to me.

Davoh said...

Good comment Natalie. Perhaps was musing (and yep, at my age i can) about "Nationalities" ... in the sense of who - what - would one be prepared to fight, and die for?

Self has no real concept of what "war" truly means. Australia, as a land, escaped the horrors of Europe 1934-45. Even now, what am seeing on the TV about what is the total destruction of cities and civilisations in Aleppo and elsewhere there. There's a 'reality' distance. Hemispheric, perhaps, but self somehow 'feels' the horror.

Davoh said...

However, have said before; and will say again - basic, physical landmass sustainable resources (water, mostly) - CANNOT sustain many more population...

Vest said...

Earlier in the piece when referred to as a Pommy B occasionally or in malice resulted in a fat lip for the perpetrator; usually a simple minded bludger galah.