In Between two worlds

“We are in between two worlds” my mother would always tell my brother and me when we were young. I guess it was hard for her to notice that for us children, there was only one world. There was only one place we called home, Australia. Growing up as children of migrants was never an easy task, especially if you were reminded everyday of tragic stories from your parent’s country.

“Oh you kids, so lucky to be born in a rich nation” my mother would say “you’ll never know about misery”

“Oh yes” my father would agree “your mother and I did not finish school because we had to work to help our parents”

They would both go on and on bout how people here don’t die of malnutrition, how we would graduate from university and lead prosperous lives and how we will never know what suffering is. I envied my non-migrant friend’s parents because they never put this burden in their children’s shoulders. I mean we were just kids!

As the eldest I was to help both of my parents with the new language that their new country spoke. “Australians never understand my English” my mother would always exclaim. Every time we walked into a store to buy something I would get a push from my parents to ask for the price or for help. If I refused to help, I would be given the long and dreary lecture on how I was not good daughter and should be ashamed for it.

My brother and I both grew up with great responsibility upon our young shoulders. I was four years older than my brother so I always looked out for him. As soon as I started year seven I was given the responsibility of picking up my brother from school. I was then to get home and make sure he did his homework and I did mine too. Every day was planned out because both of my parents were out working the whole day to provide for us.

My mum worked as a maid of a rich Toorak house in the mornings and as a cleaner in the afternoons. She would always get home exhausted. My father worked in the industrial area of Melbourne packing goods for an appliance company. Every night he went to bed with a sore back. Without even knowing it both of my parents were the epitomes of Aussie battlers striving for a better life for them and most importantly for their children.

My brother and I grew this way and while we did not like it back then, we are very proud to be migrant children and hold our parent’s country up high. We are also split up between two nations. But we like it that way and we now know that it is about living for now that counts not for what happened yesterday or what will happen tomorrow. So it is then between two worlds for this very moment for us.

In Between two worlds

ace07

Melbourne, Australia

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Artist's Description

an insight on growing up as a migrant child in Australia.

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