08 October, 2009

Is Australia Asian?

On Tuesday I wrote, "Australia is not Asia, no matter what how you try to twist it." A Sydney-ite queried me on this, wondering if I'm a Queenslander with my head stuck in the sand. Actually I am not. We do have significant populations of Africans and Asians living in our suburb. But seriously, I do stand by my statement. Yes, Australia is changing. I don't think there is a culture in the world that is not changing in this era of global communication, mass marketing and internationalisation. Many changes are superficial, however. A book called "One World, Two Minds" by Dennis Lane, a former missionary with OMF International, puts it this way:
An Asian "businessman may know all about economics and be thoroughly conversant with business management, yet underneath he still acts and reacts in an Asian way...We remain deeply influenced by our original culture." p5
Yes, the face of Australia is changing. It has been for a long time. There are micro-cultures within our country. There have been for a long time. This doesn't significantly change the basic fundamentals of our thinking. Our society is basically Western. Our systems and thinking come from Greek philosophy as well as our Christian heritage (not Australia's but British/European). Just because we have immigrants arriving from different parts of the world doesn't change an overall nation. Of course people have written books on this. For all I know people have probably based their PhDs on this. I haven't, and though I've lived in Asia for the last eight years, I cannot claim to be a sociologist. So feel free to challenge me. I'm open to debate, though I might not change my mind.


Ken Rolph said...

You still haven't said exactly what you see as the differences between Asia and Australia. I thought that would be the most interesting idea.

Wendy said...

Do you feel your power - making me write another post!