Saturday, November 19, 2011

SBS' Immigration Nation

When I was a teenager in the Philippines, I looked at the globe and found Australia. I wondered how can this country be so far from Europe and be locked by the South Pole and Asian countries but it remained very white.
Now I know the answer.
In 2010, the Australian government channel produced "Immigration Nation", a documentary on the White Australia Policy. It showed its origins, its numerous victims and its downfall. The series is divided into three 60-minute episodes that contain TV broadcasts, posters, photographs, home videos and interviews of historians and various migrants. All of which are narrated chronologically.
What struck me the most is the constant dread that Australia had against Asians. The government separated families and deported non-white children to countries they are not familiar with. But in less than a lifetime, the country transformed from a very inclusive and racially homogenous society to a culturally and racially diverse one.
The Immigration Nation is something that all Australians should watch as it explains some of the ideologies that still exist in present Australian politics. It is also significant educational material for countries that are also made up of immigrants from around the world.
Go to the SBS website to watch all the episodes. It is also available on Youtube by searching "SBS Immigration Nation". Or you can just watch the hilarious TV ad here.

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