First of all, I would like to thank all the people who came to this march for Youth Week. To begin with, New Zealand is a multicultural nation. 19% of people living in Auckland are Asian. They came to New Zealand since it is known as the country that accepts difference. I came here for the same reason.
I imagined about New Zealand before I came here. The nation where all people have equal lives. The nation where everyone communicates with each other with no difficulties. Helping each other when needed. No ignorance. Happier life-style.
However, the reality was different. There was lots of discrimination happening. Discrimination happens when people are not treated equally. So why do people treat others differently? I think the biggest reason is the difference.
Racial discrimination is happening a lot in New Zealand. These includes different skin colours, ethnicity, race, nationality, religion beliefs and so on. 55% of the people who got discriminated reported that they got discriminated against on these factors. Also, Asians report the highest levels of racial discrimination which is 20% of all ethnicities in New Zealand according to my research.
I had also experienced racial discrimination. On the first day I came here which is 19th of January, I wanted to have some ice cream. So, I went in the McDonalds and ordered the 1 ice cream I had in mind. Unfortunately, the waitress who took my order ignored me even though I spoke really loud. Therefore, it took 15 minutes to order. The wait is not important, but the thing I was upset about was her behaviour.
I dream for my second home country New Zealand to be much a better place with no discrimination. I know that it will not be solved in one day. I think the fastest way to solve this problem is to show our existence. We have to prove that we have equal lives.
So how can we show our existence? We can hold lots of activities like protests or festivals. Or we can volunteer for New Zealand. This shows the appreciation we have for New Zealand. I end my speech with dreaming of a much better place.
- This speech was written and presented by June at Youth March 2017. A copy of this speech, and the others presented at the march, can be purchased in the first issue of S.Y.N.C. zine.