Different Cultures

Written by Tan Nguyen
Sunday 20th of March

Illusions of childhood,
Protected by the lack of knowledge,
Ignorance is truly blessed,
Playfully growing up,
Unaware of the truths,
Like the times,
Believing Santa Clause was real.

My heritage, my culture,
Is of Vietnamese descent,
I was raised in two cultures,
Being an Australian,
Also as a Vietnamese,
During school hours,
I was supposed to act Australian,
At home I was supposed to act Vietnamese,
School teaching me one thing,
Home life teaching me another.

I noticed I was different,
After it was pointed out to me,
Before, I never taken any noticed,
As time goes on,
More things came to my attention,
I begun to feel unwelcomed,
Like someone crashing a party,
As a child,
I never understood why.

I had taken comfort,
Being around others,
With the same background,
We were all confused,
Didn’t know what society,
Expected from us,
We rebelled and misbehaved,
Against the school system,
Against society which looked at us,
Like we weren’t one of them,
Like a second class citizen.

Hatred filled our hearts,
Our thoughts were clouded,
Believing we weren’t part of society,
Adopting the slogan “asian pride”
Terrorising the streets,
A place we felt at home,
Since society looked at us like trash,
We decided to be that trash.

Hatred is really powerful,
Being young, filled with illusions,
Of being better then society,
Forming our own community,
To feel protected,
To keep ourselves safe,
Defending against those wishing us harm,
One thing led to another,
Soon we isolated ourselves,
Doing anything we wanted.

As time flowed on,
When my mind cleared,
The hatred within my heart vanished,
I see things differently than before,
My parents risked everything,
For reasons unknown to me,
Despite the expectations,
Of what society wanted from us,
The blame doesn’t belong there,
We gave them no reasons,
To think differently,
We ain’t angels,
We ain’t innocence,
Is it no wonder,
Their conclusion was the way it is?

I grew up being confused,
Didn’t know who I was,
Two cultures, both rejected me,
Not belonging to either one,
Now as time progressed,
Maturity has finally made it’s mark,
I see and understand,
More clearly than before,
My heritage is important,
That will always be apart of me,
Yet, I am also a citizen,
The same as you.


2 thoughts on “Different Cultures

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