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Young, Austrian, Filipino: On Walking Between Cultures

Young, Austrian, Filipino: On Walking Between Cultures

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But at the same time, the voices of young people must be strengthened. Because while the first generation still wants complete integration, even assimilation, so as not to attract attention in the white majority community, future generations care about something else. Most of them were born here and brought up in a multicultural environment, they question the circumstances and obstacles of daily life and tend to stand up for themselves.

“One is often not taken seriously, especially in the workplace,” Goetz says from his own experience. “He constantly asks me if my parents are helpers. Once at a work event, a board member said to me indifferently, ‘Ah, you are from the Philippines? I also have Filipino cleaners in my vacation home. You don’t just have to accept that.’”

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A book like Common Diversities, where others from the same or similar background tell stories from their point of view, would have helped her as a teenager. ‘In my case, not so much in the search for identity – it was always quite obvious that I was Austrian. Until others asked about my origin, for example at school, it wasn’t a problem for me. I could have had this but the book definitely helped me In finding my way back to my earlier roots. I only actually got involved in it when I was a student.” Feedback from the community confirms this perception. Others, such as Goetz, who grew up between the two cultures, said when introducing the book that they might find themselves in many stories.

The question is where are you from? Christian Goetz now treats it as a little test. I usually say “From Hütteldorf – or what do you think?” Then I’ll explain it anyway. He’s often like, “Do you know xy, she’s Filipino too?” The answer to that is always no. The world may be a village, but again not that small.

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