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Passing on the torch...

Hey all you JREFers! I hope you guys are doing well wherever you are in the world :)
Recently I've been training for the last four or five weeks in becoming a volunteer english tutor for migrants that have arrived in Australia. As a bit of background, the organisation is called AMES and is run by the government to teach english to refugees and migrants that have moved to Australia.
With my training nearly finished I've been assigned a Burmese family that lives not too far from where I live and is a refugee that fled the Burma a year ago and has only been in the country for around 6 months. They have had little contact with the english language and are under a protection Visa (which means essentially they are in limbo...). Reading the small profile that was written for me I could already tell that they would probably be very traumatised...being so far from home. I wondered if I was able to do anything for these people at all...I really hope I can...
Reading their profile funnily enough caused me to reflect on my own heritage. Being first generation Australian, my parents fled Cambodia from the Pol Pot regime in 1979 and came to Australia as refugees with very little english. When I was growing up my mum used to always chastise me because I had a tendency to respond in english when they spoke in Cambodian to me and I always used to roll my eyes. She would bother me about it until I spoke Cambodian lol. I guess at the time I didnt really see why it was such a big deal.
My mum still felt very strongly attached to the motherland and I think she was afraid that future generations wont be able to speak the language anymore in Australia. I guess I'm in a bit of a precarious position...on one hand I am Cambodian by blood and on the other Australia has always been my home. When we went back to Cambodia when I was 16...I felt like a tourist. I guess this must be a natural feeling for a lot of migrant's children I guess huh? If I ever had Children I dont know if I would speak Cambodian to them...it sounds so cold hearted doesnt it? Nationality wise I will always be Australian...
I guess if these new Burmese refugee's permanent home does become Australia...I wonder what choices their children will make. Would they seek to keep their language and traditions alive? What will their parents choose to pass on? I'm sooo nervous about meeting them...I really hope I dont offend them inadvertantly ><;
Anyway so sorry about the long post ^^;;
See you next time!



Great entry, Kirakira. I really hope you will pass on your heritages, Australian AND Cambodian, to your children one day. It can only enrich their lives.

Also, good luck with the tutoring. I have a feeling you will gain a deeper understanding about your parents through dealing with this Burmese family.
I 've read your comment in my blog . Thanks for your listening and comment . ^^
Hope You have a nice day ! ^^

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