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China no longer represents home for many Chinese-Australians like Catherine Source: Catherine Wen

For young Chinese-Australians, travelling back to China can involve a mixed bag of emotions. On the final episode of Chinese-ish, Mark and Wing unpack the concept of ‘going home’ with law student Catherine Wen.

Whether to visit family, travel, study or work, many young Chinese-Australians regularly visit China. 

However, these visits can sometimes be difficult given language and culture gaps between Chinese-Australians and those still living in China. 

As law student Catherine Wen puts it, “China honestly feels like just another foreign country to me. This episode is called ‘Homecoming’, but I don’t really feel that sense of “I’m home” [when I visit China]. 

"Australia is my home."

In this episode of Chinese-ish

  • What does going back to China mean for Chinese-Australians who were born or grew up in Australia?
  • How do they manage culture shocks or other surprises upon visiting?
  • And where, or in what contexts, do young Chinese-Australians feel at home?

This reflects a growing cohort of second- and third-generation migrants who have built their lives in Australia, and may find it difficult to understand other places as home.

Catherine Wen
For Catherine, visiting China can feel like travelling to any other foreign country.
Catherine Wen

But Australia is not perfect. Racism and discrimination continue to pose problems for Chinese-Australians, among other racial minority groups. 

Wen however remains optimistic about the future: “Australia is a land of migrants, which only started because the British came over and stole the land. 

“But now we are a land of many different people [and] my hope for the future is that we can be the multicultural society that we claim to be.”

Listen to the full episode below or by clicking the image at the top of this article.

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Chinese-ish is a podcast about what it’s like being a young Chinese-Australian in today’s Australia. The series is hosted by Wing Kuang and Mark Yin.

Catch up on earlier episodes of Chinese-ish below, and follow or subscribe to the series in Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, or the SBS Radio app.

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