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Weaving A Double Cloth
Stories Of Asia-pacific Women In Australia
The double cloth weavings were a metaphor that spoke to me of my dual cultures. As I continued working with the double cloth, I began thinking about my technique, which wasn't just a technique anymore. It was about weaving, but it was also about me. Once in a while the back cloth surfaces to the front and that becomes more important, more relevant, then it subsides again to the back. These words were spoken by Huong, one of the women who tell their life stories in this book - an apt metaphor for the migrant experience. Not that long ago, most of Australia's migrants came from Europe. During the last few decades, however, many of our migrants have come from the Asia-Pacific region. While those earlier migrants have had much written about or by them, the stories of our Asia-Pacific migrants are, by and large, still to be told. Having a lively interest in the lives of migrants, the compilers of this anthology interviewed ten women from various Asia-Pacific countries. The result is this fascinating collection of stories in which the women share their feelings as well as the facts of their lives. They have experienced danger, sadness, fear, despair, ambivalence and bereavement, in some cases as a result of political activities in their countries of birth. Others came here under less dramatic circumstances, but they too have had to grapple with big issues. Where is home? How do we deal with racism? How do we become Australian, and yet keep some of our own culture? What is our identity - how can we shape it so that we feel whole and not torn in two? Compared with the settled lives that most Australians know, the lives of these seemingly ordinary women are extraordinary. Their stories are woven with dignity and courage, resilience and humour, and are coloured with a determination to meet the challenges they face and make a good life for themselves and their families in Australia.
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