Task 3: Representations of Race/Culture
The Mates section, in the anthology Growing Up Asian in Australia, edited by Alice Pung consists of 4 texts, Wei-Lei and Me by Aditi Gouvernel, Oliver Phommavanh’s Hot and Spicy, Lessons from My School Years written by Ray Wing-Lun and Tanveer Ahmed’s Exotic Rissole. These combined texts attempt to change the way in which racial minorities are viewed by the hegemony, by challenging the ”otherness” of those in the racial minority. They share their experiences, thoughts and feelings towards (their own cultures and beliefs in response to the hegemonic of the hegemony, and by illustrating the minorities own racial views towards the hegemony.
The Mates section challenges Otherness by juxtaposing the hegemony’s behaviour and culture to that of the marginalised Asian society and equalising of the hegemony and minority. Otherness is the term given to those that are on the margin or are marginalised, those that are different from one’s own self. This idea of Otherness is challenged particularly in Exotic Rissole through using the two main characters Daryl and Tanveer. Daryl, an Australian boy whose parents are divorced, a stereotypical Australian, who eats rissoles and plays footy; and Tanveer Ahmed a boy who migrated to Australia from Bangladesh, whose parents fight yet remain together because of the children, Tanveer is the stereotypical ‘Asian’ migrant, with high grades and a house full of curry. The boys spend every afternoon together at Tanveer’s house, as Daryl is embarrassed that his parents are divorced, eating curry and samosas, then going to the creek. This shows that despite Tanveer being from a different country the boys both want the same thing; they are equalised through their likes and dislikes as well as their personalities. This equalising of the two boys is challenging the idea of Otherness, if Tanveer is so different from Daryl they wouldn’t want the...
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