Monday, September 11, 2006

Culture difference: Why not?

*Smuce ball : is an ordinary ball with 3 course meal, boost, and lots of good times.

That what is promised by the Chemical Engineering department committee which host the event. Sadly of course, it will only valid for the local (Australian) students. I, as one of the international student, will not come to their party. The question is, why. It seems that the Australian and International student can not mix. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not because of discrimination or other negative stuffs we don’t like about each other. We get along well with each other. It just the way we, so called, “have fun” are different.

As you may already know, westerners love to drink a lot. I mean a lot! They always have wine with their meals, going to pubs / bar to get beer or cocktails. I'm not saying its bad, but it just different. In my culture (Asian), we eat to celebrate. Yes, we eat. Every celebration, such as birthday, graduation party, welcoming party, etc, instead of going to a bar to have a drink / listen to bands or go dancing, we sit on a big table and have dinner. The host party will treat their guests by paying their meals. It could last for at least 2 hours because, not only we eat, we chat and keep up with the latest news from everyone: current issues for the gentleman and gossips for the ladies. My background is Indonesian, which is part of the South East Asia. We are not really a dancing culture. We just don’t dance as much as the westerner or middle eastern. So it is hard for me, personally, to get down to the dance floor and dance while everyone else watching. Of course many youngsters right now get to the groove and start following the western culture (nightclubs are one of the examples). However in the case of balls, many of my friends when I ask why they wouldn’t go, said “I’m not really into that western culture.” Or “There would be lots of alcohols. I’m afraid they (westerners) will loose it and get drunk”.

Well, nothing more to say. It that just one of the cultural differences we had. I personally would love to go to a ball if only my friends are going. I want to experience the real ball as in the movie. (PS: remember the ball from the TV serial The O.C.; where the decoration is wonderful and everyone dressed up beautifully?) I want that kind of experience while studying in Australia! So, I guess I will go next year, as it is my final year. It would be my last opportunity to go to a ball ever in my life! Hopefully by then the international student can change their mind. So not only think about the negative, but also can see the positive side of it. Shall we dance, guys? ^_^

* Smuce is stand for Student of Monash University Chemical Engineering.
Their website can be seen here:

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