Australian Cultural Test...
Doing the email rounds recently are the 'joke' questions to be potentially given to Immigrants for Australia Citizenship to ensure they have a good 'understanding' of Australian Culture and Morals. Some of the questions are hilarious, some I can't even answer not being a cricket fan or an expert on the BBQ LOL!
Not to make light of a serious issue, though have you considered what our 'culture' is? As far as I can see it is always evolving and depends on where you live? When I was going to primary school on the southside of Brisbane there were a heap of 1st & 2nd generation immigrants, we all did the same 'stuff' at school, some just did different 'stuff' at home, not to mention that swapping a boring old Vegemite sandwich for a piece of Baklava made 'big' lunch way better.
In reality we all discussed the latest soaps, singers, and movies. Here comes the odd bit, all that stuff was 'international', when it came to Aussie stuff, sport etc. well that depends on where you live doesn't it? When I was growing up it was all League here, we had our own state and regional concerns that were different to the other states. The likes of 'VFL' as it was called in those days (or disparagingly Aerial Ping Pong) was more foreign to us then the kid from Vietnam.
I went to a dinner on Friday night before the finals, was asked who do you think will win, I automatically said 'Bronco's', and they were like ummm no, the AFL final... Now my point here is that years ago, we did not even have AFL on our TV, our population within Australia itself has changed so much, and the influx of southerners to South East Queensland, that if we had set a test years ago for an immigrant who was maybe coming to Queensland, they would fail that nowadays unless it had been really updated? Just look at differences in what we eat regularly now compared to the 50's & 60's?
I am not saying that I would be happy having my daughter coming home from the beach with her friends all upset because they had been harassed due to wearing bikinis as has happened on some beaches due to culture clash, and I don't find that acceptable, though I do wonder how you would even come up with a 'real' Australian Culture & Values test? Even the way we teach our history has changed over the years in my lifetime depending on whether it was being 'honest', 'politically correct' or even 'colonially correct'...
I know this will not be a popular statement, but maybe before anyone comes here our overseas departments should give the potential immigrant a 'heads up' on what we are like here, the sport, the beaches, the laidback attitude, political tolerance etc, and gauge it then? In my personal experience, many 'foreign' immigrants try to integrate a lot more then our English or New Zealand 'long term visitors' that don't feel the need to become citizens? I can't see how we can have a Cultural Values test when we don't even seem to really know or agree on what they are, and even if we do get a consensus the goal post will have probably changed again by the time it is drafted. My belief, you want to come to Australia, be part of our country and support it, you are welcome.
Best Wishes, Noely, Community Site Co-ordinator