For 364 days of the year, I am proud to call Australia my home, but Australia Day is not one of those days. I mourn on Australia Day. For Indigenous Australians and for the traumatising Australia Day memories of my childhood.
Growing up in the burbs of West “Straya”, I wasn’t immune to the casual racism my family and many other ethnic minorities/migrants experienced. Growing up in a post-9/11 era, as a first generation Australian Sikh, has been a challenge. The Sikh and Muslim communities became targets of racial abuse, discrimination and hate crimes. “Look it’s Osama Bin Laden!” and “Go home you terrorist!” were just some of these racial slurs.
Australia Day, for me, brings out the bigots of society who might be insecure in their own identity so they hop onto the “Aussieness Express” to prove how people like me don’t belong on “their” land.