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698 澳洲的多元及對普世價值的重視

Multicultural Australia respect world values

農曆新年將要來到, 今年明顯地多了不少公開的慶祝活動。除了傳統華人推動的攤位、表演、購物、及飲食活動外, 不同的圖書館及文化機構也有手工、故事及文化活動。我相信是因為與不少東亞國家也都是慶祝農曆新年有關, 因此社區內有不少人都會感到有認同感是一個原因。

其實印度人也有自己的新年活動, 例如燈節Diwali或是穆斯林在齋戒月後的開齋節也被不少人看成為新年。在澳洲這一個多元文化社會, 我們就見到不同民族的慶祝也都被重視, 這正是澳洲社會的最特別地方。

30多年前移民到澳洲的時候, 沒有想過澳洲的多元文化, 是她最令人喜歡及欣賞, 更使澳洲成為突出於世界的重點。在這一個國家, 除了原住民外, 包括在1788年登陸並開始殖民的英國人, 都是離開自己原居地而選擇把自己的下半生, 與這片土地建立永久的關係, 並讓下一代在這裏生根的移民。北美洲與南美洲的國家與澳洲情況又有一點不同。她們更早被開發, 殖民地的早期開發者, 已建立了自己的生活文化, 因此除了美國與加拿大外,其它國家也不是移民國家, 沒有產生多元文化的融合。

自第二次大戰至到今天, 不少地方從殖民統治改變成獨立國家, 保持著自己獨特的文化。來自這些地方的人都為著自己的文化而驕傲, 澳洲吸納著從世界各地來定居的人, 不管他們的文化是否悠久或怎樣不同, 也都保持對彼此的尊重及被接納的機會, 可以說這正是澳洲社會中最可貴的地方。今天在不少地方民族主義興起, 中國、俄羅斯及一些國家都強調民族偉大復興, 不單不能接納與自己不同的文化, 並且盲目地貶抑、矮化、及打擊與自己不同的文化, 而不是從不同文化之中, 建立文明社會的普世美善文化。

也因為如此, 我們見到世界, 特別是互聯網上, 充斥著各樣違反人性及人權, 推動著野蠻粗暴奴役其他人的思想。例如馬來西亞歌手黃明志日前在網絡發放的一首極具諷刺性中國的賀年歌曲《龍的傳人》 , 在數日之間在網絡爆紅, 只因為歌詞諷刺今天中國的社會, 得到不少人的共鳴。

生活在多元的澳洲, 我為著我們仍能接觸各種美善的價值, 並能自由去捍衛這些價值而欣慰。在我原來居住的香港,不少我的朋友明顯地, 已發現公民的權利和捍衛自己生活價值的空間, 每一天都在收窄和減少, 確實是令人可惜。

周偉文 社長

Multicultural Australia respect world values

Lunar New Year is around the corner and this year notably there would be more celebrative events coming. Besides those funfair, performance, shopping and eatery stalls hosted by Chinese communities as usual, different libraries and cultural organisations would be staging their activities such as craft and storytelling. Maybe many East Asian nations are also interested in celebrating Lunar New Year hence widely accepted in the local community.

Indians indeed have their own new year celebration such as the Diwali. Muslims’ Eid al-Fitr after their Ramadan is comparable to our new year. In multicultural Australia we can see celebrations of different ethnics being respected as an unique facet of our society.

When I migrated to Australia 30 years ago, it did not occur to me that multiculturalism was such a beautiful value that is making this nation to stand out. In Australia besides the indigenous people and the British group who settled here in 1788, all others were those who chose to leave their home countries to tie up their remaining life with this territory, including that of their next generations. North America and South America were not the same: they were explored much earlier as colonies and the respective cultures were planted; besides the US and Canada, all the others are not nations for migrants hence multiculturalism did not exist.

Since WWII to date, many colonies became independent nations while retaining their own culture and their people are proud of it. Australia has attracted these people as immigrants here and it is nice to have their very different cultures to be accepted and respected here. These days nationalism is on the rise in countries like China and Russia to the extent that they are not accepting other cultures and even trying to belittle and charge against foreign culture, instead of aiming to build an universal culture of goodness out from the different ones.

Actually, we can see the world especially on the Internet today filled with savage and rough attitude and behaviour which go against humanity and human right. Say the Malaysian singer Wee Meng Chee who recently published an irony Chinese song ‘Descendants of the Dragon’ and surged in his popularity, just because he was speaking to a vast audience on the web.

Living in this multicultural piece of land I am pleased to have the opportunity to embrace various nice values and the right to uphold them. Whereas I feel sorry for people in Hong Kong from where I came are day by day losing their civil right and power to defend their value of life.

Mr. Raymond Chow, publisher