Friday, February 12, 2010

Bollywood to the rescue?

We have been having some trouble with attacks on Indians here in Australia, and particularly in Victoria.

It is hard to sort our what is really going on. Indian students do work in particularly exposed jobs (driving taxis, late night retail) but without good statistics on cases, patterns, etc it is hard to pick out whether there is a specific problem or it is a visible manifestation of a wider crime problem. Though this does suggest there is a specific issue.

Sometimes, it helps to look at things a little differently. A friend, in another place, commented about young East Asian males who work in exposed late night jobs not being attacked:
The point about Chinese not being attacked as much having a fair bit to do with drunken yobbos not wishing to find out if the inoffensive-looking guy with the laptop is actually Jackie Chan's nephew and training partner.
Clearly, Bollywood should get right onto it.

But there may be a more serious (and somewhat consoling) point in this: that being ethnically Chinese is no longer “foreign” in the land of Oz, even to drunken yobs. And Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Karate Kid, martial arts movies have had that effect, as well as the one my friend was suggesting.

The vision of Bruce Lee—that Westerners could come to appreciate things Chinese through martial arts—coming true.

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