Australia doesn’t have a significant race problem. With a third of its population already in a mixed- race marriage, with grown-up mixed- race children talking about their experiences, it seems the question is no longer one of race, but of culture.
From Date to Mate
Traditional discriminations last a long time. Although mixed race couples are no longer ostracized from the community or abused in other ways, they may still meet with a few raised eyebrows when they are out together or experience a form of subtle discrimination. A waiter in a restaurant might address the white person in the couple, ignoring the one with darker skin. It will be assumed the mother of a baby is the nanny if the mother is dark skinned and the baby is light.
Friends might make thoughtless racial jokes as Australians are a blunt people who do not hold back on what they think is funny because somebody among the group might be offended. Family members can also be as thoughtless, falling back on stereotypes when addressing the new mixed-race member. It’s all taken in stride because of the knowledge that overall, conditions have improved enormously for mixed race dating and the thoughtlessness is simply a few traditionalists still holding on to the past.
The Big Drawback
Australia’s problem isn’t biracial dating. Like Alaska, the Pacific Islands and other areas where there is a large indigenous/ Asian / and white population, the dominant feature is white culture. For people to succeed in a white society, they must adopt the culture.
Dating a person of a separate race and culture is a long, hard learning process that usually reaps significant rewards. It’s usually considered a bridge of understanding as the two people begin learning about each other’s beliefs, customs and traditions. Mixed race marriage, however, often comes with the price of choosing one racial culture over another.
The Mixed Race Voice
Australians have some traits in common; their outdoor enthusiasm, their free-roaming spirit, and their out-spoken views. Mixed race Australians are searching for their own identity that includes the culture of both their parents. Many claim to have grown up never truly accepted as white, but never accepted by their other parent’s race, either.
They are Millennials now, and from the generation growing up behind them. They are searching for a balance. They feel it’s not enough to be of two races within one culture. They want the cross-cultural distinction of blended racial values.
Brave New Ideas
The rapidly growing mixed race community will be a strong voice in shaping Australia’s integrated, harmonious future. Already rated as one of the most peaceful countries in the world, it could lead the way in shaping a new social model that incorporates all its ethnic and religious values for a society that can truly practice its customs and devotions without the necessity of role-modeling itself into white culture. It began with mixed race dating. It has evolved into mixed race children who want a place in both worlds.