Packing to Leave: Saris, Suits and Spices
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Devi Bala arrived in Australia in September 1972 from Jaffna, Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) with her three children, to join her husband who had come earlier that year.

"We brought a lot of things but they came by ship. My mother sent packing cases full of spices and everything ranging from chilli powder to whole chillies, dried chillies and coriander and all sorts of spices, and rice ... even the rice came from there."

"I was so homesick and I wanted to meet people from my country ... on weekends we used to drive from Bondi to Camden ... just to have a chat, you know, to socialise."

"Three small children in a new place, and my two boys were getting used to school and ... this is the eastern suburbs [of Sydney], you know, Bellevue Hill. Not an Indian child in sight. ... [They] were probably the first non-white kids to go to that school, and I was terribly worried ... they would be subjected to racist remarks. ... I remember the first day I took them to school ... I nearly broke down in tears, you know, because I had this feeling ... my God, I looked at all the faces, and I thought my children look so different ... how are they going to cope?"

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