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Do Russian immigrants/ Russian women experience prejudice in Australia? (stereotypes)

Discussion in 'Russian Culture in Australia' started by SufiPoet, Jul 24, 2005.

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    SufiPoet Administrator
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    I know in some countries, Russian women and Russian immigrants experience some negative stereotypes and prejudice.

    Since Australia has such a protective immigration policy, do Russian women and immigrants have a difficult time fitting in once they arrive in Australia?

    Are there prevalent stereotypes in Australian society about Russians and Russian women?

    Or, are most Australians fairly open-minded towards Russians when they first arrive in Australia.

    Sufipoet
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    bobjf Elite Contributing Member
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    hi Sufipoet

    g/day mate thanks for your welcom, i don,t think russian woman or other immigrants have a hard time when they come to australia.
    unfortunately for true aussies we have gotten an undesevered reputation for being racist( beleive me this is untrue) true aussies don,t care were you come from as long as you want to be australian.
    the racist label comes from some of the people we have opened our shores too.
    most aussies would be more than happy to have certain ethnic people barred because of the bad name they give us
    these people like to say they are australian but forget that we welcomed them , they need to do the same to others landing here.
    natasha has been overwelmed with the treatment she has received since arriveing here. starting with her disbeleif of not haveing to register in australia (wish i could say the same for me in russia, what a bloody joke) she has been amazed at how easy everything has been for her here. especialy when dealing with gov agencys.
    she phones home & tells everybody how much easier her life is now.
    all we need now is to find out how to deal with our teenage daughter who has imbraced western life to quickly, probably my fault for giving to much to soon.
    cheers bob
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    SufiPoet Administrator
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    Thanks for your feedback and writing a bit about Natasha's personal experience with this, Bob.

    Feel free to post more experiences that Natasha has had in Australia in the Aussie-Russian forum.

    I would like to read other Australian members experiences also.

    Sufipoet
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    vanir New Member
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    If anything I think Australia's muliticulturism is its own worst enemy. With little or no sense of national identity I've often found social groups such as football fans (the national sport), tend to be very prejudiced against people who don't share their interest.
    This can be very easily misconstrued as racism.
    Australian's also tend to have a very extroverted, self mocking kind of humour and will freely joke about racist comments, feeling safe in the knowledge they aren't racist. But also forgetting that how the hell is a person who doesn't know them personally supposed to know that.

    My last job I left due to racism and bigotry, primarily towards asian emmigrants and tourists, which included bullying and a general lack of any interactive consideration. The elderly and financially bereft too. The fact that it was a position of some authority and the individuals simply refused to recognise their actions, the management refusing to act, made it an irreconcilable situation which left me continually at odds with coworkers, a potentially volatile circumstance.
    It was actually completely ridiculous towards the end, they'd do something stuffed and I'd try to pull them up, then they'd act like I was being violent towards them, as if they were children being caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

    Don't get me wrong, you're not likely to have important files "lost" just because you're a cultural outsider, but depending on the person at the other side of the desk so to speak, you may be expected to act like you're at a lower social rung, or challenge fragile sensibilities that have no real grounding. Making the person who's job it was to help you, become anxious and illogical, then feeling the need to establish their personal authority whilst you're still wondering what the problem was.

    Asian tourists who argued about poor treatment for example, were suddenly "behaving in a threatening manner" and risked Protective Services Officers being remote-summoned for their arrest (the position involved a self contradictory "secure facility" which was open to the public).

    So yeah, nobody in Australia is racist. According to them.
    The UN international human rights assessment team back in the late 90's though, toured Aboriginal settlements, immigration detention centres and government institutions and claimed Australia was indeed quite blatantly entertaining a racist government, with no recognition of the fact.

    However racism I've seen is mostly levelled against people who look markedly different, such as asian and darker skin tones, and it is generally not reflected in terms of selective disadvantages or official policies, but is social and may appear within institution in this manner. Bigotry also exists towards the mentally ill and as I mentioned elderly and financially bereft, but these individuals are not politically minoritised as far as I can tell, and do in fact enjoy the same rights as anybody. Just they may have to fight for them entirely more often and lose out every time they get tired or fed up.

    Sorry, you're much better off around here if you're caucasion, have money and say the right things, or alternatively fit your look really well (african heritage should be "cool," aborigine should be "spiritual" and asian should be a highly skilled martial artist, etc.). There is no bill of rights in Australia to support you should people choose not to. It is not a constitutional republic.

    But I've noticed this a general subcultural tendancy, ethnic groups govern themselves in the same fashion in Australia. I used to hang out in some local asian internet cafes a bit, and got along much better if I barracked for a footy team and fit an easily classified typical Australian charaquature. Strong social expectations seemed to exist for asian people among themselves I noticed.

    I think it's the whole local governing system breeding a particular psychology. That of numbers and acceptance by advocacy. Nobody vouching for you means you can get treated pretty inconsiderately and yet held accountable somehow.

    If you're new to the country, and prepared to act like you're new and we're grand, you'll do fine. Just don't try to stand up for rights you don't have or otherwise hope there's someone in the room who's willing to do it for you. You have to "turn the other cheek" a lot in some circumstances around here.
    Generally speaking most government departments and private institutions will be more than cordial with you, especially where your situation fits nicely with a standard proceedure. Exceptionally friendly would then be an understatement.

    Besides, the incidence of wealth among immigres is higher on average than local caucasions. It's a favorite jibe among workplaces that ethnic asian communities "live ten to a house and they each drive a Mercedes."
    I don't think it's unfair to suggest that in a manner nobody can fathom, immigres tend to become wealthy more easily at the same middle class environments here.

    Above all the biggest local lesson, taught at high school, is that it's not what you know, it's who you know. Everybody loves reteaching that lesson at any opportunity. Personally I think they're pretty blind to the fact they're only holding back their own.

    So in one sense, being too socially accepted probably works against you anyway.
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    SufiPoet Administrator
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    Interesting and thoughtful comments, Vanir

    Thank you.
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    bobjf Elite Contributing Member
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    your opion

    well mate you seemed to have missed the point.
    agree multicultursim is at fault & it is mostly fault of our gov.
    auatralians did have a culture befor outsiders decided they had the right to stuff theres down our necks.
    you seem to forget that immigrants come here for a better life,don,t you think that they should try to imbrace our way of life instead of changing ours.
    we don,t have the right to stop them why because then we are bigots & racists.
    we now have schools were xmas carols are no longer allowed, shopping centres were xmas decoration are no longer put up & even an idiot lord mayor who was named scooge last year for bowing to political correctness & not decorating sydney why because a minority group said it offends them. gee,s i thought i lived in australia.
    yer mate we will have a shot anybody includeing fellow aussi,s why because it is part of why we are aussie,s, if you can,t stand the heat get out of the kitchen & if you don,t understand that .then thats your problem. aussie,s are loved all over the world for there happy go lucky attitude, sence of fair play.
    your argument on football dosn,t stand up either, wether your a footy fan or not wouldn,t matter it,s more about the team you happen to follow, should you venture into a place were any sport is played & you display ignorence of the team, game,rules you will get ragged (been there myself so what)try going to a bulldogs game & not being part of the majority ethnic fan base & see what happens , personaly i,m not that stupid.
    i am part abo so can have an oppion there to.
    most of what is said about us is once again about a minority, trouble makers seeking the easy life & useing the point that they are aboriginal to say it is anyone,s fault but theres.
    this minority group & certain others want everthing there way & anyone who speaks up against them is branded a racist.
    mate i say again true aussie,s only want people who choose to live here to accept our way of life & stop putting the boot into us when we say back off.
    aussie yer mate & proud of it , got simple solution for you become an aussie & you might just get it.
    i have friends from all over the world & i am even married to an immigrant, don,t have problem with any of them but then i,m australian are you.
    as matter of fact i have an asian friend sitting here reading what i.m writing, he has been here for long enough to venture is oppion. his comment wake up drongo. ask him what nationality he is & he will tell you bluntly i am an australian this is my home.the only people who call us bigots & racists are people who
    want us to lose our way of life.
    am i saying you can,t have your culture & traditions no never but stop trying to ram yours down our necks.
    if you & others can,t accept our ways then my friend on your bike
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    SufiPoet Administrator
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    It seems like we are getting at the heart of Australian attitudes towards foreigner cultures.

    Sufipoet
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    bobjf Elite Contributing Member
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    hi Sufipoet.
    sorry mate that bloke got me a little hot under the collar.
    stirring is a australian passtime we will do it to anyone includeing ourselves ,no 1 is immune but if your the old enemy a pom look out (favorite aussie target)
    natasha has learn,t very fast & isn,t above doing it to now.
    regardless of what some people here might think it is part of who we are.
    try to read a book called there a weird mob (should be required reading for all new australians) written by an italian man married to an aussi .
    the way we treat people is for the most part no different than we would treat another australian.
    why should we lose who we are to suit people who choose to live in aus but don,t want to be part of our way of life.
    some people see but never open there eyes
    bob
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    leum RMP Member
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    Vanir, I suspect you are a little sensitive on this issue. I have friends here from all over the world, and none of them have ever encountered the racism you speak of. How long have you lived here? Have you made any attempt at all to accept your new culture?
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    bobjf Elite Contributing Member
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    how true

    well said leum.
    it,s been my experiance that those who have imbraced aussie life are both welcomed & respected
    bob
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    vanir New Member
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    You're right, those examples I gave were just made up.

    Or, there's more than one experience of Australia to be had. I appreciate the feeling behind a blanket denial of racism and bigotry, however suggest in benevolance that acting to their prevention by experience or institution would better serve such feelings than anything as ridiculous as a complete denial of racism and bigotry amongst any given population of humans. The only question is, how much of it is there, how institutionalised is it and how complacent are people about it. Keep in mind you're talking about elements of human nature here, not alien thought processes adopted from mountain gorillas.

    Generally speaking, in a government which refuses to recognise it's own tendancy to racism and bigotry and take effective measures to prevent it by other authorities, it's going to be rife.
    In the ancient days of post mediaeval colonies this was done with Governor-Generals who represented a divinely bestowed monarchy's benevolant rule among the presumption of lesser humans.
    a) we're not supposed to be quite that ignorant anymore
    b) that's not even democratic
    c) powers of state lay in parliament since the formal transfer last century, hence the institutional sterility of royal offices anyway, so citizens in Australia no longer have any recourse for the institutional denial of human rights, not that in a democratic sense, subjects of a monarchy ever did.
    Bit of political science for you. Next week: palaeoanthropology.

    My Singapore, Indonesian, Fijian, Chinese, US, German, Polish and South American friends and family have all experienced racism and bigotry in Australia. It is difficult however, to distinguish racism from bigotry because it is an identical experience, but with different reasoning. I tried to convince them it was mostly bigotry because I was born here and know the place well, but they're mostly convinced it's racism.
    That's actually a problem, because complaining about racism doesn't solve bigotry, the same arguments don't apply. Either is caused by stupidity plain and simple, but by being stupid about completely different things so it's crucial to get your arguments right or your issues simply won't be recognised, you'll be placated if you're lucky and nothing will actually change.

    Look I understand, really I do, to an aussie it just looks like someone's simply being an arsehole to someone else, not because of their race or anything about them. And if you don't take it that way they're just being a bit of a drip, right? It's just the way some people are. What are you going to do, beat them up?
    If need be. What you don't do is suppport them in any fashion from fear to complacency.

    That's how you prevent bigotry.
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    vanir New Member
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    Re: how true

    Who's version of it, yours or theirs? Do they even have the right to their own?
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    SufiPoet Administrator
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    I think that some form of prejudice exists almost everywhere, and at the same time, of course it is important for an immigrant to adjust to their new adopted country.

    I am willing to give Vanir the benefit of the doubt that his non-native Australian friends at least feel and believe that they are experiencing prejudice.

    I am curious about some specific examples of what they felt was prejudice. Can you give some specific examples?

    The experience of an Anglo native Australian is probably different than an immigrant to Australia.

    In America, for example, most white Americans will say that there is no prejudice towards African-Americans anymore, while many (if not a majority) or African-Americans feel that there IS prejudice towards them in American society.

    I wonder if there have been any polls done in Australia that asked the opinions of native Australians and immigrants regarding whether they feel there is prejudice in Australia.

    Open respectful discussion about our different opinions is helpful and stimulating...

    Sufipoet
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    SufiPoet Administrator
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    Hi Vanir...

    Can you give us some specific examples of how you or your friends have experienced prejudice in Australia?

    This might help us understand your perspective better.

    Sufipoet
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    vanir New Member
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    It's usually your stereotypical comments whilst a dictatorial decision making process is underway (otherwise there's no opportunity to actually see it or you can just punch them and bigots are waaaay more gutless than that, as their lack of honour and unilateral respect would suggest). Almost any situation where someone's in charge you've got a 50/50 chance of running into it if you're Asian (especially if you speak with an accent or are quiet), are any other nationality and don't go out of your way to be a footy moron, resemble an academic in any fashion, are aboriginal or have any welfare or mental health issues, which almost unanymously regarded as a matter of kharmic retribution around here.

    You want examples? Sure.

    A schoolteacher waits with her class to go through a security station for a privately booked tour, visiting tourists approach and wait behind them for the public tours, which leave on the hour and they may miss because of the school class being in the way of entering. The teacher kindly lets an Asian tourist ahead of her class in the line, so that he doesn't miss the public tour.

    Racist guard #1: Hey, who let you in?
    Racist guard #2: are you off the (tourist) bus? Yoooooo....no...can...come...in....must...book.

    It's a public tour and open to any members of the public, including (especially) tourists. Bookings are only required for large groups of 8 or more. This is clearly displayed on the pamphlett.

    Just so happened to be Asian student from Melbourne University: What?

    Racist guard #1: What do you think you're doing, get at the back of the line!
    Racist guard #2: Look you can't just walk around and go where you want.
    Asian uni student: What the ****? The lady let me in ahead of the line (motions, but it's obvious)

    Racist guard #1: She's not in charge here! I'm in charge here!
    *he holds up the line of school students with the teacher*
    Now get to the back of the line!
    Racist guard #2: he's going to miss the tour.
    Racist guard #1 laughs: I know.

    Asian uni Student: I'm not ****ing going to the back of the line. What the ****? What's your problem?
    Teacher: look, this guy can go through, it's fine (trying a little child psychology)
    Racist guard #1 shakes head: No. Go to the back of the line (almost desperate now), I'm in charge here. This teacher's not in charge, I'm in charge!
    *orders police summons for threatening behavior of patron, for which he most certainly can be charged but it is unlikely to be successful if the schoolteacher is prepared to go to court as a witness*

    Asian uni student leaves: **** you, prick!

    The complaints from everybody present went ignored.

    How many examples did you want?
    The teenage Asian girl who got told to, "**** off!" as soon as she stepped a foot inside Victorian Parliament, open to the public but apparently not Asians. Which is funny because the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs is Asian (go figure) and the Premier is Lebanese.
    The comment was meant to have been under the staff-member's breath, a sort of "I'm sick of tourists," but turned out a little louder than that, and she heard it clearly, as could've anyone. I watched her walk down the stairs crying, I was almost angry enough to get an assault charge that day.

    Did you want this in a book, point form or I could make out a thesis if you like.
    You could also read the United Nations International Human Rights Commission report on racism in Australia, which is bound to be available on the web somewhere.

    Once again, I am aware that not being race based as much as just plain general stupidity, it just doesn't look like bigotry to australians. They'd treat their own kids like crap so they've got the right to ignore your internationally recognised human rights.

    "I suspect you're being a little sensitive," right? Coincidentally this is similar to the initial response to a claim of abuse or rape. "You sure you're not just taking it that way?"

    I dunno the bruising or in this case minoritising treatment kinda convinced me.
    And treating everybody equally like crap just means you're racist, bigoted and abusive. Not unracist.
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    bobjf Elite Contributing Member
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    g/day vanir

    mate you seem to think i,m makeing a personal attack on you.
    nothing could be further from my intension
    sure there are rednecks as our american friends call them & yes this is part of human nature.
    every 1 is intitled to there oppion & no i never have tried to alter anyones .
    an australian is probably the only person who can call someone a bastard mean absolutly nothing by it.
    it,s our nature & our way , & others mightn,t understand it but hey we don,t understand what the drama is about.
    if you were born here as you say then you should be immune to it just as i am.
    i stand by what i say in as much as most of what you talk about comes from people who would have australia become part of there world but have no intension of being an aussie.
    you need to remember that to some races & religins we are less than nothing so is it any wonder why we arc up when outsiders try to ram there ways down our necks.
    i,m sorry but i can,t see this as racism just keeping australia australian.
    natasha has been in australia for 7 months now & will tell you quite freely she hasn.t experianced any of what you speak of except from particular religous people but then who hasn,t world wide.
    vanir i don,t care if your heritage is african,indian,whatever all i ask is that you stand up & say i,m an aussie mate & proud of it .
    & now i have to say saddly that i understand a little of how you feel after all you are from south of the border(bloody mexican)
    befor any of our mex friends arc up in auss being called a mexican simply means you come from victoria. poor fella.
    vanir if you ever come north i would be glad to buy you a beer & continue our friendly war
    cheers bob
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    SufiPoet Administrator
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    Hello Mates,

    Yes, there is ignorance everywhere.

    It's difficult for me to understand the cultural and social situation in Australia, since I've never been down under (though I'd like to).

    From an outsider's perspective looking in, it seems that there is some lack of understanding between native Australians and immigrants, and that they don't fully understand one another's perspectives.

    Because of this, I think that communicating their thoughts and ideas (as in this forum thread) is a positive thing and can help to create more understanding.

    I didn't realize, as you mentioned, Bob, that some native Australians feel perhaps a bit on guard because they are looked down upon by some races and religions.

    Thanks for keeping things civil, guys, for for communicating openly...

    If I had the chance, I would love to come down and have a drink will all you mates.

    Sufipoet
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    Michel.S New Member
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    Would you care to elaborate a bit mate? I think I understand what you mean, but would you mind giving us some examples?
    I want to be sure it's the same thing we experience in Europe.

    Thanks:)
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    bobjf Elite Contributing Member
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    Sufipoet & michel

    g/day guys.
    first Sufipoet i don,t personaly think it is that we are on guard but rather just sick of all b/s
    to be called a bigot or a racist just because someone disagrees with our way of life truly sucks.
    what these people need to be aware of is that there is a growing feeling that it is time to put a stop to all the demands they make on us.
    examples: there is a particular mosk in a suburbe of sydney where the people who go there park there cars on gazeted parkland & the powers that be turn a blind eye to it but if you tried it you would have the book throwen at you.
    there are many other problems in the same area to the extent that this area is now almost totaly void of australians.
    by the way i once lived there so can speak from experiance (i thumped 1 of these arsholes for calling my ex wife a whore because she wore a short skirt)nice people just 1 instance.
    same people tried to take our local gov to court for discrimination because they wouldn,t give the local swimming pool to them exclusivly 1 day a week.
    as to why because the local residents informed the gov body that they would fight this on the grounds of reverse discrimination.
    put simply public ammenitys are there for the public regardless of who they are.
    schools in australia have school uniforms the reasoning being that if all the kids wear the same there is no class distinction.
    we now have the situation were if you say my culture says otherwise i can wear whatever my culture,religin decrees but if i send my kids to shool out of uniform i will get a why letter & be told this is unacceptable. now who,s being discriminated against.
    michel i,d like to see our gov take the same stance as france,s did but on all issues not just the headress issue.
    we are all created equall yer,nyet not if you can say i,m part of a minority group you can,t touch me.
    we have the rediculous situation where there is one rule (law)for australians another for those who use there culture /religious beleifs to do as they see fit &because we have discrimation laws there is little we can do about it as they just cry foul & a government that wants to be seen as politicaly correct so they get way with it.

    we have people(clerics) openly preaching hate but if we try to jump on them the snivel libertarians & do gooders cause trouble .
    catch 22 yer
    on last nights news we distressinly find out that a terrorist dressed so you can,t see who he is ( typical of these cowards) has been identifed as of australian origin speaking with an ethnic aussie slang that is pecular to only one race in aus, they say from the the slang he used that he probably comes from sydney.
    mate i would put money on knowing from which suburbe he comes from.
    i have a work mate who lives there not by choice but because they made the mistake of buying house there many years ago(next to his mums who has lived there all her life) they are not game to shop in the area or go out after dark.
    now i know this can be the same in other places but here in australia we never saw this untill the racist b/s started.
    sure vanir,s right there is racism here but just who are the perpitrators.
    we hve people who have come from all over the world here, why because australia was veiwedas a good natured free place to raise a family. well once was.
    vanir,s exmple of the security guard picking on an asian is probably correct & the guard may have been born here but what he did is un australian, we do beleive in fair play but once again being born here dosn,t mean you follow aussie traits but maybe your heritage ways learned from your background.
    vanir don,t arc up mate i,m not saying there are no aussie rednecks ,i,m not that stupid to think that there are no drongo,s around.
    Sufipoet i be honored to have a beer or 3 with you should you ever get to sydney.
    cheers bob
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    SufiPoet Administrator
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    Hi Bob...

    It's interesting and good to hear what both sides are experiencing...

    It sounds like Australia is having some growing pains with the influx of immigrants.

    This sounds a little like what Sweden was/is experiencing with its influx of new immigrants during the past 15 years.

    Maybe all of us should get together and have 3 or 4 beers and chum this out :)

    Sufipoet

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