Many young people have different political opinions, and different ways of participating in politics, to their parents or grandparents.
But for young Chinese-Australians, these differences can be particularly stark thanks to language and cultural gaps, as well as the different information sources we use.
Thomas Feng from Youth Affairs Council Victoria has sometimes clashed with his parents over politics.
There definitely is a fundamental difference in our views because of the fundamental differences in our experiences.
"There is a language barrier ultimately... and also because [my parents] are more connected to the China side... they consume Chinese and Western media. They'll often say, 'Well, I can see the Chinese way and the Western way, but Thomas you can only see the Western way.'"
In this episode of Chinese-ish
- How do young Chinese-Australians relate to Australia’s current political climate?
- What issues do young Chinese-Australians care about?
- How do they navigate talking to their parents about politics, given the prevalence of WeChat and Xiaohongshu among Chinese-speaking communities in Australia?
However, this doesn't mean these generational gaps can't be bridged.
Community organiser Yanni Jiang finds it useful to reframe political issues in terms of their parents' lived experiences. They said, "This isn't simply a language barrier, but [it's about] putting it in terms of experiences that they understood and felt grounded in".
"Reframing it that way brought them an intimacy of understanding that I couldn't reach before."
Thomas Feng has a fundamentally different outlook on politics to his parents Source: Thomas Feng
Listen to the episode below or by clicking the image at the top of this article.
In this episode of the podcast Chinese-ish, Wing and Mark are joined by Thomas Feng and Yanni Jiang to discuss how we’re talking to our families about politics.
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.
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Artwork by Joanna Hu.