Growing up, I attended a Greek Orthodox school where learning the Greek language was compulsory. Participating in many other religious and cultural traditions was also expected at the school, which were not always an enjoyable experience. But one thing for certain is now I have no regrets learning the language and regard myself very lucky. When people ask me what my family background is I tell them Greek Orthodox. It’s our easter this weekend, a beautiful time of year with family, full of tradition where I find myself tagging along to a number of family functions. I raise my glass of ouzo to tradition and celebrate diversity… and of course, lamb on a spit.
I think many of the cultural traditions we see today are based on religion. When raising the dialogue around culture I think its important to discuss religion also as many cultures around the world consist of an intricate moulding of the two. I have been trying to explore the different ethnic cultural groups within the western suburbs of Sydney and have come to see that many of the enclaves of cultural groups are identified by their faith.
I personally love the idea of faith. A sense of delusion we all need to get us up out of bed in the morning, suppressing those negative thoughts and idealising the world around us. This requires a small form of delusion and I think I’m ok with that! I don’t care what drives you, what keeps you going, I’m just glad you’re still around.
We need to celebrate this diversity, help maintain culture. It’s this diversity that makes Australia such a great country. I love to photograph people in candid situations, experience life as much as I can. The idea of globalisation or homogenisation of people scares me because if everyone were the same the world would become a stagnant place. It’s this diversity that keeps things interesting, if approached with an open mind, it allows for innovation and a sharing of ideas and culture… and of course, lamb on a spit.
Hassan holding his daughter Roshni, his wife Fatima and son Moeez. Hassan and his family are Hazara refugees from Afghanistan and have settled in Auburn. Hassan runs and organisation called Human Care Welfare. Services include English language classes for other Hazara refugees. His plans are to do more to help resettle refugees.Deng Thiak Adut, now a criminal lawyer in Bankstown and Parramatta. When Deng was 6 years old he joined the rebel South Sudanese army as a child soldier. After escaping Kenya he arrived in Australia when he was 15 years old without knowing the language.