me

 

The continuing saga of the genetic test means that I have had to really think about why I want it, and also what I want out of it. I realised that aside from the fairly dodgy reasons I wrote a few days ago, I want the test because I am hoping it will put me into a history of Australia that I have never had. Basically, I would like the test and the result that it comes out as Aboriginal or South Sea Islander because then I would have a genetic link to my country of birth. In fact, it would be more than a genetic link, it would be a genetic trump card to all those British-descent Australians.

The way I normally see myself is as a Jewish person, which means that my Jewish half takes over my entire identity - for good reason. My mum converted so I am Jewish and I went to a Jewish school for my entire school life. But I am also 5th generation Australian, on my mum's side - something which is rarely credited in my life because of my last name and its association with recent (post-war) immigration... and because I don't look anglo-celtic.

My entire life living in Melbourne was experienced as a constant questioning by Australians of my identity as an Australian. I was never Australian enough, for them... and so for me. Though ironically, many of these interogators were from '10 Pom' stock, ie they came out after the war from england in Australia's post-war attempt to bring in the 'right sort' of immigrant: they're not usually people with a long Australian ancestry themselves.

So this genetic stuff, this search for some 'pedigree' is dodgy in the way that it always is. Somehow, some past, this kind of past, is meant to make up for exclusions I felt as I grew up. I guess it's not really about knowing anything. It's about wanting to feel like I belong, in a way that I never have felt.

Especially ironic that I am doing it from England... but then one of the many reasons why I left my birthplace was in response to the Ideal of England, as framed by Australia.

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