Reflective Essay Cronulla Riots

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Reflective Essay- Cronulla Riots 2005
This essay will be reflecting upon how culture can influence individuals by the analysis of the Cronulla riots of 2005. It will touch on and emphasise how differing perspectives, thoughts, ideals and values are determined by a variety of cultural backgrounds and how in essence this defines each individual from the next. The experiences mentioned in this essay are of my own along with those of friends and family members that witnessed the cultural clash on December 11th 2005. The Cronulla riots began when allegedly a group of men with Middle Eastern backgrounds assaulted or attacked the Cronulla life guards on patrol. In the week following this incident, particularly on the 11th of December Cronulla’s residents saw a gathering of 4000-5000 people (some local residents and many outsiders from other beachside areas) rallying to protect their Australian beaches and protesting against these assaults. The media portrayed a great deal of negativity towards many of the Middle Eastern individuals that were defending their name and their identity for the many weeks to come after the incident. The local residents and individuals of Anglo descent were also condemned for the inappropriate racial slurs that were being chanted amongst the crowd such as "No more Lebs"(Sydney Morning Herald ‘Mob Violence Envelops Cronulla 2005), just to name a few. Coming from a mixed background of Pakistani, Indian and Burmese just to name a few, I don’t look like your average blue eyed, blonde Australian. However I was born in Nowra, and have been brought up in the Sutherland Shire. Growing up in an area that was predominantly Anglo Australians did prove to be a bit of a challenge. Integrating into the “aussie” culture wasn’t as easy when you have dark skin and dark hair and are surrounded by much fairer people. The physical appearances wasn’t the only thing that distinguished me greatly amongst the other kids, the food I ate, the rules I lived by as a...
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