| || |
I think what helps here in Adelaide is that there are no particular areas that particular races gravitate towards, so you don't get the "mini-ghetto" thing going on that perhaps you might get in other cities: most suburbs seem to be pretty racially mixed, so everyone is used to being very much a part of a multi-racial society. There are a few places where there is a slightly higher level of a particular race or nationality: Athelstone (near us) and some of the eastern suburbs for instance seem to have a slightly higher than normal percentage of Italians, some of the southern suburbs may now have a higher proportion of new Brits, and places like Elizabeth in the north have a higher proportion of "old" Brits (lots of the original "Ten Pound Poms"), a couple of the north western suburbs have highish numbers of Vietnamese and Polish settlers, and there are a few areas that have groups of settlers from Sudan. Not sure about religions, but if your wife wears a head scarf, she definitely won't be alone, as I've seen lots of women in all different suburbs wearing them (probably a very wise thing to do anyway, for sun protection as well as religious reasons, here). You may have to get used to the aussie "bluntness" - for instance, I was quite shocked when I first heard someone of Italian-descent here referred to as a "wog" but I've since learnt that this isn't (usually) meant in a derogatory way, same as the term "pommy bastard" which is often used as a kind of test - if you take offence, you may just have failed the test, whereas if you laugh it off and come back with a laugh and a joke, you pass and will be "one of the gang" from there on in!
Sometimes the grass will appear greener on the other side because it has been fertilised by bull****
There's a lovely new mosque just been built down on Marion Road at Ascot Park. Plenty of Muslims around that area, I see women with headscarves in that area most days when I drive to and from work ..... but you see people of all ethnicities everywhere now, and we just all get along with each other. I wouldn't worry to be honest.
Best of luck Tarek. I dont think your experiences will surpass the german ones. Im sure you'll be fine
While a great many Australians originally come from somewhere else, or Mum/Dad/Grandma did, there can be elements who don't easily accept people who look different to themselves. Certainly the current political/media noise about Islam can exacerbate this. In the main I don't think it is worse than anywhere else and, once Australians get to know you, they are (generally) a very accepting lot. Some people seem to demonstrate a low level inbuilt racism to people of a different colour but this tends to be unstated ... which probably makes it harder to deal with. We have several Muslim colleagues at work (some who cover their hair) and they're all accepted as part of the team. This is in higher education where international students are also commonplace so it may depend on the work sector you are in, where you live, etc
Having said all of that, the absolute majority of people I know are welcoming, normal people who are smart enough to cut through the 'Today Tonight' (dire TV magazine type show) chatter and take people for who they are.
I think people have no problem with headscarves as you can still see the face - however there has been some problems ID'ing someone where their face was covered and some people have been pushing for a ban. This has brought into focus the whole ethnicity debate and there seems some lack of integration. Personally, If I cannot see your face then I cannot hear you as I have poor hearing and rely on facial cues. Consequently I avoid eye contact to avoid embarrasment but may be judged to be unwelcoming which I am certainly not!
Really I don't feel that racism is an issue here. We have been here for 18 months and I worried about the very same things.
OH is Turkish Cypriot and I am Mauritian (both of us born in the UK), of course the kids are mixed race. I was scared that the kids would have problems at school, but nothing of the sort. Everyone seems more interested in my English accent, and they love to hear me talk. I went to the Christmas pageant in the city (big thing here) and there was a group of us from school, they were handing out sweets, and I said quiet loudly oh I'd love a sweetie please, everyone turned around and said I was a true pommy though and though, as they call sweets lollies here, I laughed and said it's in me blood nothing that I can do about it. Just go with the flow and you'll be fine. I feel so at ease here that I kinda forget about the colour of my skin. It's very mixed here, lots of Italians, asians, indian's, aussies etc etc...
Wish you all the best if you need any help, just ask away
Actually I worked for sometime in Saudi Arabia where most of Saudi ladies are covered from head to toe (which is more of a habit and does not relate to Islam), but they are the exception. In Egypt where I came from, we don't have such mentality (we only have revolutions :)