Posts Tagged ‘Events’

Melbourne – racist?

Quite literal, actually.Riding past a park in the trashier side of Port Melbourne this weekend with a friend, we pass a group of kids playing with some adults. A kid around five yells out, ‘Hello, hobboe!’

The adults just stare. They do not look too apologetic, which hints that they are part of the problem here – probably thinking, ‘More foreigners… they’ll go by; who cares?’ (Very mildly – I give them much benefit of the doubt here.) Unfortunately, this one happens to be a Metblogs author about to publicly disgrace you.

I do not think racism is a major issue in Melbourne. The Indian community seem to disagree, of course.

Recent communication with the media from the community describe Australia as a generally racist country. The Federation of Indian Students of Australia (FISA) made a statement earlier this month expressing their concern that ‘racist attacks were increasing’.

The Indian press now even places particular focus on Melbourne’s racist attitude, suggesting Melbourne to be the epicentre of Australia’s racism and warning students that it is no longer safe.

Gautum Gupta, from FISA, also offered a more rational analysis to The Age, and described the recent development of racism the result of the discomfort with an influx of Indians into the country, shifting the gaze away from the Chinese and on to the Indians.

Not everyone agrees that the recent incidences are racial, however, and the recent attacks involving Indian students can also be accounted to being race-neutral. The Australian Federation of International Students (AFIS), for example, accounts the attacks to bad timing and advises international students to take stronger safety precautions. Students are encouraged to seek AFIS for help shall they face difficulties during their stay in Australia.

AFIS is also organising a free event titled, ‘m²s² – Money, Migration, Safety, Study‘ on June 1st 2008, to address the most pressing issues facing current and fresh international students. The event will feature seminars from the Victorian Police, Department of Immigration and Citizenship and the Victorian Tenancy Union amongst other presenters, and is heavily supported by the City of Melbourne.

A great effort has been committed to recognise Melbourne’s increasing professional immigrant workforce and international student market.

No, I personally believe that Melbourne is not entirely racist. Tiny pockets of unfriendly people do exist (eg. trashy Port Melbourne family), but as a whole, we are generally doing very well – albeit milking our foreign students for all their worth.

To that particular family, I say: Up yours, bogans.

Victorian Wine Regions Showcase Series

The first Wednesday and Thursday of each month is a good time to get yourself down to Fed Square for wine tasting.

A different Victorian region is featured each month for the rest of the year. It’s $18 (plus a $2) deposit, but – at least this month, – there’s a link to a voucher that gets you in for $13. Pretty good deal.

This month they’re featuring wines from the Yarra Valley, and it is going to be rainy and yucky both days. What better way to warm up?

April2-3 (Wenesday and Thursday) from 4:30-8:30.

Victorian Wine Regions Showcase Series

Things I Love About Australia: 1,000,000

I forgot to mention this the other week (do we have a category for ‘old news, long irrelevant’?).

I went to the Birdman Rally, you know, the other week. It was a fun event – lots of costumes, very family friendly.

Americans are a little bit (!) with the Puritanical, so I was surprised when I heard one of the hosts use the word ‘dickhead’ more than once. Amused, but surprised.

Once a contestant called ‘Dr Foker’ came on, I was even more surprised to hear the host use the word ‘foker’ nearly a dozen times. He was loving it.

He was eventually (mildly) chastised by the other host – at the behest of the judges, no doubt.

I love this country. There were about a thousand kids there, and someone only said something after about the 10th ‘f*cker’ in a row. Amazing place.

For his part, the chastising host made up for his squareness by making fun of Lord Mayor John So’s bad jokes at about every opportunity. He also mercilessly teased one of the other judges, who finally said:

I’m not speaking to you. You’ve been nasty to me.

This is how things went. Priceless.

By the way, I don’t want to hear any complaints that I don’t keep you guys up on the latest goings on in Melb. I took the time to look Birdman up just now, and that was only ten days ago, I’ll have you know.

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