Sunday, May 27, 2012

Author Jess Rudd on National Reconciliation Week...

Storyteller and author of Campaign Ruby and Ruby Blues, the generous-spirited Jessica Rudd shares some thoughts on National Reconciliation Week.

As you might expect, my husband and I have a lot in common. 

We like cheese and wine—him blue, me camembert; both pinot. We did law at uni—him with commerce, me with arts. Our families came to Australia—mine UK criminals by sea, his Hong Kong business people by air.
When we got engaged, people asked what kind of wedding we were having: Chinese or Western?
It’s funny. Because we know we come from different stock, Albert and I have always articulated what we each see as cultural norms.
‘We go to church on Christmas morning.’
‘We over-cater on Chinese New Year’s Eve so we can bring leftovers into the New Year as a symbol of prosperity.’
‘It’s bad luck for the bride and groom to see each other before the wedding.’
‘It’s bad luck to give a person a clock.’
I think we forget that every marriage is the union of two cultures. 

Some families cook a roast on Sundays, others order in. Some eat in front of the telly, others set the table with the good china.
If we don’t name the differences, cultures can clash.
Reconciliation Week is an opportunity to share and unite, to make Indigenous and non-Indigenous culture Australian culture; to own and be proud of all that we are.
In the end, Albert and I wouldn’t call it a Chinese or a Western wedding. It was just ours.

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