When Chris talked about nationalism in this week's lecture (as well as explaining diasporic cultures), it struck me that I have not, as yet, managed to find a proper balance between my family cultures.
To explain, I'm half Greek Cypriot on my father's side, half Sri Lankan on my mother's, and born/raised here in Australia. People often get confused by my physical features and ask my 'nationality' or 'family background'. The next question I'm asked is whether I speak either language (I don't) and their response to this is that 'it's a shame'. I have half Cypriot, half Italian cousins, but I feel this mix can be better explained geographically than my own family history.
It does get confusing as both cultures have a certain set of values that often contrast each other. Most people have a sense of community within their families, but I myself feel torn in this respect. The concept of having ALL of my family in the one room is but a daydream.
Fortunately, both sides flew here and migrated here legally. I am, by definition, a second generation Australian according to this report from the Department of Immigration (2002, p.iv).
In short, I have not experienced diaspora myself. But I am here because my ancestors have.
El-Nawawy, M. 2003, ‘The battle for the Arab mind’, Al-Jazeera, the story of the network that is rattling governments and redefining modern journalism< 2003, Westview Press, Boulder CO, pp. 45-69, 217-218
Khoo, Siew-Ean et al, Second Generation Australians, Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs publication, last accessed 8/8/12