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"For some South Australians, their culture and traditions have been here longer than 40,000 years.  In more recent decades, our community has been further enriched by the many cultures that have arrived with each new wave of migration." - His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AO, Governor of South Australia

"Cultural Diversity is a major asset to our State, enriching our economy and culture.  Our friends, families and colleagues hail from many corners of the globe, speak many languages and follow many beliefs.  To be South Australian is to be multicultural.  It's our way of life." - The Honourable Zoe Bettison, MP, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, South Australia

ON KINDNESS AND OTHER THOUGHTS

Kind words. Nice, sweet, endearing, empathizing, commiserating, loving words. I guess there are many. But as many as they can be, just when are these sweet, endearing, empathizing, commiserating and loving words truly kind? Even ‘kindness'-denoting words are empty unless they come from the heart. The same ordinarily spoken words or phrases (i.e. 'that's great', 'you're great', 'that's nice of you', 'good on you', 'good job!', etc) that on ordinary moments or at other times mean shallow or are simply commentary expressions can be the very vessel of the deepest feeling for others at other times when the feeling expressed by them is most sincere. The depth of kindness, the depth of the feeling for someone, the commiseration, the empathy, the sympathy that are denoted by the words is based on the sincerity of the intention. At other times, it is when these ‘kind words’ are mute and are instead expressed by silent presence, a hug, a touch on the shoulder or look in the eyes that they are indeed ‘kind words.’

THOUGHTS ABOUT THE YOUTH TAKING ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT IN THEIR COMMUNITIES

If they keep up with their optimistic and positive spirit, if they will not let apathy insidiously cow them to cynicism and resignation, if they will keep their eyes to their dreams and indomitably endeavour to achieve them, if they keep to good principles and manage their selves well, they'd be winners in life! If I were to advise them, their generation has great promise if they take up the gargantuan challenges to implement change where they are! Pasture is NOT ALWAYS greener overseas. They could initiate the change in their generation's mindset: that MONEY IS NOT THE MEASURE OF SUCCESS OR QUALITY OF LIFE! THAT money could be made anywhere. Life's quality back home could be made much better than anywhere else by the right mindset and effort. I salute those few who can hold their heads up high and say to the world that they made it good in their own turf without ever- ever bludging on some others' help! I salute them for the challenge that they bore on their shoulders was greater than those of us who came away and made a living overseas. The money that we earn, the decadence we bask in and luxuries we acquire are no measure to the grit and character of those who slogged it on back home on principle and lived by the tenets of total self autonomy!

PROVINCIAL LIFE, ANYONE?

It’s ironic , but people in the province do not realize how lucky they are. They do not know the value of being free.  They take for granted the grace of  being  themselves.   I wonder whether  they know the value of what they hold in their hands : their  freedom  to take life easy -  with no pressure to labour and work under a superior, a boss or employer because  they own who they are. At least that's how I see it.   We see them lounging around in corner stores, puffing cigarettes or drinking alcohol. Sometimes they simply just lounge around waiting for the day to pass. Life in the province is not the stale existence  that people complain about. It is in fact like having a lifetime of holidaying! Rural life is without pressure save the basic needs for existence. And for a pulse of movement to liven the pace of life, it all depends on the people. Rural life is only as simple as people would want to keep it. In the absence of external pressure or necessary force that stoke them to keep the community life throbbing, the rural folks are left to wallow in a confused state of existence.  They do not have to work their butts off.  They do  not slave like we do when we work for big corporations in the West. We enslave ourselves inorder to earn money to buy our necessities. (We buy nice houses, nice cars which we can’t really, in truth, enjoy because we are so busy earning money to pay them off! This same stuff that we buy and call our own, and which are reasons why these people back home are envious for, are in truth baggages to us. Sure, they soothe our egos every once in a while. They make us feel good when we know that others are envying us. But being envied for material assets are far from indicators of a quality life. ) In the province, they do not even need the money. They can feed off nature – first hand! They are their own bosses. They move at their own pace. But they do not appreciate that. In their having so much time in their hands and in their indulgence with having nothing major to worry about they are practically bored that they direct their minds into coveting and envying others’ lives. They limit the parameters of their life to envying instead of utilizing their minds to make good of the resources that they have! Sad. Truly sad that because of it, they waste their creativity and render their lives wretched.