Anusha’s Homeland

» Read the Tamil version of this story

Author: Rani Arjunamani
Storyteller: Rani Arjunamani
Community Language School: Ashfield Balar Malar
Main School: Homebush Public School

The story of Anusha’s life in Australia.

Anusha was only 10 years old. It was January 14th, 1989. Anusha was enjoying the sweet pongal her grandma had made. It was “Thaipongal”, the harvest festival that Hindu families celebrate in India. The festival is a thanksgiving to the Sun God and a prayer for a good harvest in the future.

On that day her father came and told her family that they were migrating to Australia. Anusha was sad. She thought that she would miss her friends and her extended family. She lived with her parents, sister, uncle, aunt and her grandma whose stories she enjoyed listening to every night. Vani her elder sister asked “Why Australia?” Don’t we have every thing here in India?’ Her dad said ‘Yes we do, but, you will have more opportunities in Australia.”

In March of the same year Anusha’s dad migrated to Australia. Anusha, her sister and mother arrived in Sydney on April 6th. Anusha’s dad’s friend came to pick them up. They had dinner at the friend’s home. Then they went to the flat , which Anusha’s dad had rented. It was so exciting for little Anusha. On Saturday, dad’s friend took them to the community language school. Anusha and her sister were excited because they could make new friends there. Anusha and her sister were happy to learn their mother tongue Tamil.

Anusha and her sister started their regular School. Their classmates were from different backgrounds. They could not make any friends in the regular School. They moved to another suburb. |Some of the children in the School made fun of them and called them “burnt chicken.” Both Anusha and her sister were upset. Little Anusha asked her sister if she could put on lots of powder and look white.” Her sister did not reply. Anusha was also placed in an ESL class. Anusha was initially sad. She learnt to enjoy it because she was so good at English she was able to help the other kids. Till she finished primary School she still did not make any friends at all.

Time passed by, Anusha has finished university and is working now. She and her sister are still friends with the other kids they first met in the Community Language School. She also has other best friends who have come from China, Poland, India as well as many Australian friends..

Since coming to Australia Anusha also has another sister, who is ten years old now. She envies Anusha, because she could study Tamil and also Hindu scripture in her regular School. Whenever Anusha’s little sister complains about not having friends Anusha tells her stories to comfort her.

Australia is their country for Anusha and her family. Anusha’s elder sister has been sent to the US by the multinational firm with whom she is working. Her dad’s words have come true.