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Proud to be Aussie

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22 December 2009

I write to you in response to the letter by Arthur Demas.

Mate, you are a champion. It so nice to see one of the younger generation grabbing the Australian identity and claiming it as their own.

We of Greek backgrounds are as Aussie as the Anglo-Celts in this country.

All of us who share a migrant experience, whether that was in the 18th, 19th, 20th or 21st century, all share a bond; a bond that ties us together because we are not of this land.

All non-indigenous people are from ‘somewhere else’ and it is our nostalgia for that place somewhere else which makes us all Aussies.

Our job is to challenge the stereotype of the blond haired, blue eyed Aussie for what is is; an inaccurate, ill-informed stereotype.

When the time comes I will be supporting Greece in the World Cup but the reality is that I will be at my proudest and happiest when I am watching Australia play.

I look to the late night barbies during the World Cup at which we will drink beer and chardonnay while we eat burnt meat because we will be re-enacting a grand Aussie tradition - the sporting bbq.

Chuck in Les Murray and Craig Foster as well as a 60 inch plasma screen and I will be in seventh heaven.

Phillip Palatsoglou Canberra, ACT

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Ethnicity, Race and Culture are part of the power plays in all societies. Everything in Australia is organised in maintaining this country as a British colony, that keeps sending wealth back to Britain and having a reserve of military force to keep Britain as a Colonial Master in the world. Certainly even the lowest level of society are better off than the British working class, because being in control and pracmatic requires this to be so. Not so many years ago, an apprentice I took an interest in teaching one day tells me that he was an Australian, but I was not. I asked "how can that be? " I came to Australia 45 years ago as a child, and you came to Australia 10 years ago from Scotland". His reply "you are a Greek". We all have Anglo-Australian friends who speak of themselves being Australian and the Aborigines as being non Australian, even when they are mostly Anglos by race. Culture is maintained by "educated" people the rest of society wallows in the mud. I have met people who have their Greek origins in Australia more than 100 years old, yet they are above all else Greek, and, understand the Australian jungle to use the system to maintain their identity and pride. Many of us have relatives and Grandparents who chose death rather denouncing their Greek culture and religion. I could never consider marrying anybody other than a Greek, when I remember my Great Grandfather spitting in the eyes a of Muslim Army officer when asked to change religion and culture. His fate was to have his eye lids cut off so he could watch his child son have his arms and legs cut of by a German surgeon, and, keeping him alive as long as possible to add to the agony, and his wife disemboweled slowly, while the three young daughters watched. Uneducated Greeks are the greatest enemy to maintaining a Culture. They adopt the lies of the enemy as the truth. So many things that are celebrated as Greek history are great lies that undermine our culture and survival. As many of my Greek friends tell me they do not want to know the truth.
Phillip as hard as you might try, you will never be accepted as one of them, we are not Aussie's we are Greeks. Western Anglo culture dominates Australia even thought 57 per cent of the population is not Anglo background. Indeed the system in this country is setup to maintain this status quo and suppress any ethnic minority group which tries to challenge their Anglo system. Every time you hear about youth at the tennis fighting instantly it becomes an 'ethnic problem' not an Australian problem. This is only a small example on how the media discredits minorities in this country. We have a declining sense of 'community' in Australia compounded by people such yourself who no longer wish to participate. We should press home our rights and be recognized for our contribution. To simply throw off our identity for the sake of getting along and to grovel for acceptance, is absolutely repulsive to me.

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