We are now living in a globalised society. The phenomenon that is globalisation has taken over how we live our lives not only have we never before, as individuals or Australia as a whole been so connected to other parts of the globe by means of communication, like for instance friends currently in Europe are able to keep in contact with me at every moment. They’re currently in Scottish Highlands as seen on SnapChat, making me extremely jealous right now. Globalisation is much broader than that.
Globalisation is the interactions and also integration of things such as people, companies, nations and politics driven by economic trade, environmental issue, media relations and information. This transition into globalisation has been fuelled by rapid technological advancement.
Globalisation has created us into ‘Global Citizens’ a role that we now play, not just as local citizen of our country but a citizen who has interactions internationally, a citizenship where we must acknowledge and respect people of our globe who hold different values and beliefs as they come from a different culture than our own.
A class debate this week about globalisation and us being global citizens led to me reflecting on Australian’s and our own cultural identity and how we are now global citizens. We are one of the most multicultural nations in the world and one of the luckiest places to live in the world, in terms of quality of life, so why did one day in 2005 change our history forever?
The Cronulla Riots in 2005 I’m referring to.
Late 2005 saw high racial tensions in the Sutherland Shire between the ‘surfies’ and the ‘lebs’ after a lifeguard was bashed by an alleged Middle Eastern person. By Sunday 11th December, mass text messages had been sent out; the Westerners (surfies) wanted to reclaim ‘their’ beach from the middle easterners who also used it. That morning while all wearing Australian flags as capes, 5000 people went to the streets rioting, abusing and physically attacking anyone who looked of Middle Eastern descent. This event sparks significant outrage in media but also praise by certain journalists, e.g. Alan Jones, and questioned whether white Australian’s were racist and held ethnocentric views.
Ethnocentric view being the belief that one’s culture and beliefs are superior to another’s based on our comparison of our own without further knowledge,
Since our existence, the “Aussie” way of life, especially in the shire region has always been thought of as laid back, larrikin and beach loving. This is a cultural identity that has been perpetuated by media, e.g. movies like Crocodile Dundee.
This ‘cultural identity’ is imagined, it is only an invention. There is no law on what Australians ‘should be’. Current statistics say that 43% of Australian’s have at least one parent born overseas and 30% of Australians themselves are born overseas. We the citizens of our nation and citizens of the globe need to look beyond the stereotypes and accept others race and culture in order to have a fully functioning globalized society.