When did you become conscious of your heritage?

On being raised by an Anglo-Cletic Australian mother and a Chinese father.
  • Transcript


Question: When did you first become conscious of your heritage?

Melissa Chiu: Well I think that my first contact was even not so much with China, but more with Hong Kong because my father's family were based there. We would spend a lot of time in Hong Kong, at least, visiting our families and relative . . . our family and relatives there. And so I think that Hong Kong in many ways is what you might call a China in diaspora. So it's China, but it's also a little bit different because it hasn't experienced the same kinds of things that mainland China . . . that have defined modern . . . mainland China such as the Cultural Revolution. I think that my upbringing was unusual in that, like most children of that time and certainly in Australia, I think that what had happened was that my father very much wanted his children to be Australian. And so I think my mother really wanted us to be Chinese in influence and my father really wanted us to be Australian. And so I come from very much a kind of biracial household, if you like.


Recorded on: 7/11/07