It’s frequently been said that despite the way many Australians laud the benefits of multiculturalism, this embrace of other cultures often doesn’t go any further than our eating habits. While someone may love the way a diverse society gives them a ready supply of felafels, fried rice and pho, they don’t necessarily interface at any deeper level with the cultures those foods came from. And while I agree that this is largely true, it is nonetheless a good start. Surely the broadening of the Australian palate has had some kind of positive effect on the broadening of our national psyche. I’m not sure how you would measure such a thing, but surely the bogan douchebags who yell out “curry muncher” at passing Indians would be less likely to do so if they could only spend more time munching curry themselves. It’s harder to keep seeing Afghanistan simply as a barbarous wasteland once you’ve discovered the frankly amazing things Afghanis can do with rice and kebabs. So perhaps the dudes slaving away in their shops making shawarma, som tum and futomaki are the ones who are really at the vanguard of combating racism in this country.
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