I am a caucasian, Catholic, woman and I lived in a Middle Eastern country just over a decade ago. I was there with my husband’s work and while I was there I found work in my own field of nursing working with my local community at the local hospital.
While I was living there, everything I did and said had to be done their way. I had to dress like they did, I wasn’t allowed to swim at the beaches or lakes, I wasn’t allowed to speak or make eye contact unless it was culturally appropriate to do so. Safe to say, living there was incredibly different from what it is while I was in Australia. And, I was OK with that. I was in their country, so I was happy to live as they did.
Today when I read in the Sydney Morning Herald that Tony Abbott had said, “You don’t migrate to this country unless you want to join team Australia”, it resonated with me on an incredibly personal level. When I was over there, I lived as they did, but when they live here, if we ask them to adopt our practices or do their best to integrate into our lifestyle, we are deemed as being racist.
The difference between us living there and them living here? If I did something out of their culture while living there, I faced death… Legally. If they choose not to adopt our lifestyle or culture here, they face no penalties and instead turn it on us.
I know many people aren’t a fan of Tony Abbott or the Liberal party, however on this one I have to say I do agree with him. 100%.
I don’t want the comments on this to turn racist and I don’t want us to discriminate against each other because that isn’t what it is about. It’s about living in harmony, and respecting the country that houses you, provides you with food, shelter and security. I respected their country, religions, customs and lifestyle while I was there. So why can’t they?
As an Australian, do you agree with Tony Abbott on this one? Should immigrants be willing to become apart of team Australia? Tell us in the comments below…