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Edition 61

Contents
Essay

No, I'm not your 'Asian model minority'!

The perils of overachieving

I HAVE A confession to make. Some years ago, while enjoying solace in a café, a well-nourished white bloke accosted me by thrusting his newly purchased cookbook in my face and demanding an autograph. ‘I love your recipes,’ he gushed. I signed his book with a flourish: ‘Love, Kylie K.’

Just to be clear, the Chinese-Australian chef Kylie Kwong and I both wear glasses, but beyond that, we share few similarities. But I figured if this bloke is daft enough to think we Asians all look the same, why not bask in the fake celebrity limelight? What’s the harm in obliging him with a momentary mendacious act? (Apologies to Kylie of course, whose recipes I also love.)

I’m not usually this reckless. As a child migrant, or generation 1.5 Japanese-Australian, my parents drilled it into me as I was growing up that I was ‘an unofficial Japanese ambassador’ to Australia, that my behaviour would influence how Australians feel about all... Read more

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From Griffith Review Edition 61: Who We Are © Copyright Griffith University & the author.

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