ISSUE 10 | AUGUST 2017
I am a perpetual foreigner quarinted too successful tooambitious too different
I am a perpetual foreigner quarinted but you will celebrate too successful my desire to assimilate tooambitious conform to your too different middle class respectability becasue i can help you
but you will celebrate my desire to assimilate conform to your Learn to speak White middle class respectability Become a mouth for Otherness becasue i can help you Exclusive steal the world In order to be included steal the world
Learn to speak White Become a mouth for Otherness My father tongue Exclusive My mother's tongue In order to be included Discharged and forgotten Protected by the tongue of the colonizer but I am still longing My father tongue to be recognized My mother's tongue concealing my Difference Discharged and forgotten with consequential mourning the tongue of the colonizer
but I am still longing - to Alice Canton be recognized concealing my Difference with consequential mourning
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I Am Kiwese :: Page 10
Lost In Translation Page 14
Indian Ink :: The Pickle King Page 16
Not So Casual Racism Page 20
Recipe :: Sticky Pork Gua Bao Page 32
COV E R P H OTO B Y S H I V A N P A T E L @ G A T H U M
SUB - EDITORS Shawn Cleaver River Lin
CONTRIBUTORS Abigail Johnson, Alice Canton, Chris Tse, Cordelia Huxtable, Crystal Wu, Georgia Murton, Hope McConnell, Kristen Ng, Laine Yeager, Lulu Liu, Olivia Galletly, Paige Janssen, Shivan Patel, Simran Singh
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EDITOR Janie Cameron email@example.com
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But enough about me. I want to know about you. This is your magazine; your soapbox; your voice. What do you want to hear? More importantly, what do you want to say? Maybe you love Debate? Hell, maybe you can’t stand the sight of those red stands littering your campus? Regardless, the only way we can improve and grow is if you talk to us. Tell us what you want to see more of, what you want to see less of, what’s missing. Our door, while requiring swipe card access, is at least metaphorically always open. So don’t be shy, come on in and say hello.* Student media is a unique platform in that we can push the boundaries a little. But beyond the lighthearted accounts of student life, the drunken rants and everybody’s favourite jumbo wordfind, we have a responsibility to talk about the important things too.
Editor's Letter Hi. I’m Janie, nice to meet you. I’m stepping in as editor for the next six months while your old mate Julie is in Scandinavia. I’m kind of new to this whole editing thing, so please go easy on me. I guess I should start with the obligatory introduction, or perhaps more importantly, 'what qualifies me to be here?' I’m something of a perpetual student, having studied at three universities (including AUT), chopping and changing degrees until I finally found my vocation, albeit in the grossly underpaid profession of journalism. I have worked as a journalist and freelance writer, written for a bunch of publications including Vice and The Spinoff, and even won a couple of super nerdy awards along the way.
This issue looks at what it means to be Asian in Aotearoa, here and now. And while we’ve barely scraped the surface, I hope that beginning with this issue, Debate can provide more of a voice for our beautiful and diverse Asian population that makes up a quarter of the student body here at AUT. It’s been a busy couple of weeks trying to get my head around how all this works (which wouldn’t have been possible without the help of designer and all-round angel, Ramina, who has patiently answered my pesky and repetitive questions), but with any luck you’re now holding something that resembles a magazine. I hope you like it. Janie *You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Meet your SRC :: Yash Thakkar This page traditionally features messages of encouragement and advice from members of your Student Representative Council, but we thought you might like the chance to get to know them a little better. Over the next couple of issues, we’ll be having a quick chat to the people who dedicate their spare time to making AUT a better place to be for everyone. First up, we talk to newly appointed International Affairs Officer, Yash Thakkar.
Full name: Yash Dharamshi Thakkar Age: 22 Field of study: Computer science Country of birth: India Favourite colour: Black Favourite food: Pizza Favourite band: Coldplay Favourite restaurant: Paradise Indian How long have you been in New Zealand and what’s your favourite thing about living here? It’s been five months now, and from what I have seen so far it’s a beautiful country. Coming from India, where it is usually really hot, the climate here appeals to me very much. It is so pleasant, and is one of the things I like best about this country. What do you miss most about India? Being vegetarian, I miss vegetarian food a lot. We don’t get enough options here and it’s boring to eat the same thing again and again. The only vege food I like here is pizza.
What has your experience as an international student been like so far? I’ve never felt like an international student here. People are so warm and kind, and they make me feel at home. The friendliest people I have ever met! What do you think are the biggest challenges facing international students in NZ? After the recent tightening of immigration rules, it’s getting difficult for international students to find jobs, as companies prefer to employ New Zealand and Australian citizens. So, that’s a big challenge every international student is facing. What do you hope to achieve in your new position as International Affairs Officer for the SRC? I want to encourage companies to give a fair chance of employment to international students who are talented in their field. They should at least be given a chance to prove themselves.
What's on? Cheap, free and koha events around town
Natalie Robertson, 'Boiled pig head, Te Rimu, Tikapa’, The Headlands Await Your Coming, 2012-2014.
LEI - PĀ
New Zealand International Film Festival
Where: St Paul Street Gallery (63 Wellesley Street East) When: 04 August - 08 September What: ‘The plantation is a site where we not only cultivate crops but also trauma, resilience and hybridity.’ Through a variety of artistic approaches, art exhibition LEI – PĀ uses food and labour to open up conversations of cultural exchange across Moana-nuia-kiwa and China. Curated by Lana Lopesi and Ahilapalapa Rands. How much: Free entry
Where: See nziff.co.nz for locations When: 14 July - 08 August What: NZIFF is an annual event extending the cinematic options of audiences and filmmakers throughout Aotearoa, with a programme of between 150-170 local and international films shown in theatres around Auckland. How much: Tickets from $12.50
Where: Q Theatre (305 Queen Street) When: 06 - 16 September
Where: Strange Haven (281 Karangahape Road) When: 09 August – 18 October
What: Following on from the success of her 2016 WHITE/ OTHER season, writer and director Alice Canton (White Mess) delves even deeper into the uncomfortable and nuanced conversation about race in OTHER [chinese]. Head along to find out what it is to be Chinese in Auckland, here and now. How much: Tickets from $15.00 (or see our giveaways page to win yourself a double pass)
What: Everything’s Fucked: But The Point Is To Go Beyond That is a six-part critical theory seminar series centred around politics, gender, internationalism, etc. Head along and give your brain a workout. How much: Koha entry
Other Tongue I am a perpetual foreigner quarantined too successful too ambitious too different but you will celebrate my desire to assimilate conform to your middle class respectability becasue i can help you steal the world Learn to speak White Become a mouth for Otherness Exclusive In order to be included Protected by the tongue of the colonizer My father tongue My mother's tongue Discharged and forgotten but I am still longing to be recognized concealing my Difference with consequential mourning
- Alice Canton
Alice Canton is an award-winning theatre-maker, performer and teaching artist who lives in Auckland.
What are you looking at? A conve rsat ion a b ou t s a m e- s ex i nter ra c i a l d at i n g
By Abigail Johnson Here’s the deal: I’m a bisexual white woman in a relationship with a Filipino/Chinese lesbian. We’ve been going out for two years now, and knew each other as friends for a while before that. Here, we sit down with a glass of cheap Merlot each, and discuss.
Me: The first thing that comes to mind for me, regarding us being interracial, is a joke we had back when we first started dating. I wasn’t out to my mother yet and, as happens with these things, we had discussed it at length. You said, like, “Can you imagine if your mum was totally cool with you dating a woman, but she kicked you out of the house for dating an Asian?”. Gf: (Laughs), yeah. It was never serious, like a complete farce, but I think it was the first time I even had the thought like, oh, this is interracial. Not to be all ‘colour blind’ but I hadn’t even thought about it much, which is for sure a result of my white blindness. Yeah, yeah. And I also present very Caucasian. For sure. Which is very deliberate. Right. I think as anyone ‘non-white’, particularly as an immigrant, you understand you’re growing up in a white world and a white culture, and you assimilate. At least in some ways. Right. And for me the experience has been totally different in that I’ve always had my race presented to me as the default. Yeah. So, because I’ve grown up knowing white culture, I felt very prepared to come into your world, in terms of meeting your parents, going out to dinner with them, how to conduct myself at a dinner table, etc. That’s something you learn as an immigrant. But I think for you, it would have been coming into something very different. Right, I hadn’t been going through the training my whole life. Exactly. I remember we were driving around Herne Bay, looking at mansions, and I was saying how nice it would be live there, and you were like “pretty white”. (Laughs).
And I was like ‘oh yeah’. Herne Bay isn’t the best example because its whiteness is so apparent, but there have definitely been times when you’ve pointed out that you’re the only non-white person in the room, and it’s totally taken me aback. For instance, The Basement Theatre, which is a wonderful place that we both love — but we’ve been there and you’ve been like ‘hey, I’m the only coloured here’. Lol. And sometimes I have this weird knee-jerk reaction to that, like, ‘no you’re not! There’s someone over…there, maybe?’ Like I’m defending myself. You’ve gotten better at that though, where you’re recognising your own reactions, and being like ‘whoa, I don’t know why I got so defensive over that, you’re right.’ So, we were friends for a long time before we started dating. We knew each other in high school. We did. I think what I liked about you, just as friends, was how similar we were in our pop-cultural references. We liked the same music and films. It’s like, in every bloody indie film how they bond over loving The Smiths. Ha! So, in that way, I thought we were extremely similar, and that totally blinded me to our cultural differences too. There are clear gaps though, particularly in what we grew up on. I remember you were shocked I hadn’t seen The Sound of Music, which you grew up on. Whereas I basically grew up on anime. What anime did you grow up on? Dragonball Z, Ghost Fight, Gundam Wing…
I remember you used to notice it way more than I did, particularly with Asian people looking at our clasped hands. Yeah, and I also present pretty androgynous, and some people read me as male, so they’re like ‘what’s this Chinese boy doing with this tall blonde lady?’ That’s the other thing; you don’t know what that second look is for, it’s all projection, right? Like you can make an educated guess, but it’s like; is it the same-sex thing, is it the race thing, is it the height difference? (Laughs). Do you remember the best one we got? Oh yeah, you had gone to the bathroom and this Indian guy came up to me and said, ‘way to get a Green Card bro’. (Laughs), you honestly laughed about that for the next three hours. There have been more sinister incidents too though, like when that old man yelled at us in that Waiheke Island café. That was freaky, he literally screamed, ‘What are you doing?!’ at us because we were holding hands. And we had quite different instant reactions to that. You thought he was racist, and I thought he probably had dementia or something like that. I don’t think you saw the look in his eyes, because you were embarrassed and you looked away, but it was pure hate. We discussed that for a long time after, because we were so shaken up, trying to figure out what it was about us that he had reacted to. Yeah, and he just got to go on with his day. Yeah, but he has to live as a hateful person, and we get to be in love. Life goes on, eh.
We all grew up on Dragonball Z, dude. Yeah, I always say that first too, because I know white people will know it. (Laughs). So, we get stared at, right? Yeah. We get a second glance.
I am Kiwese Janie Cameron talks to Wellington-born, Chengdu-based writer and musician Kristen Ng about what it means to be ‘Kiwese’. Kia ora Kristen, tell us what you're up to in China. I've been in China for almost four years now – one year in Beijing and three in Chengdu. I originally came as a language student and now I manage bookings and promotion at a venue in Chengdu called NU SPACE, and run a website called Kiwese ( 奇异思), which is an online publication based on indie culture in Aotearoa and China, and also operates as a touring label for New Zealand bands in China and soon for Chinese bands in NZ. I also play music under the name Kaishandao (开山刀), which means ‘machete.’ What inspired you to start Kiwese? I started Kiwese in 2013 while on an internship at the New Zealand Centre at Peking University, where I liaised an English course about NZ history and culture. It was my first real insight into the structures that bind the ‘New Zealand-China relationship,' underpinned by the government’s trade and business-based strategy. Cultural encounters were full of tired panda-kiwi clichés. As a Chinese person myself, I found this direction troubling and misleading. When Chinese people are represented in the NZ media, it tends to be in a negative light or as tokenised cultural decorations – dirty restaurants, airport security, undercover camera exposes, pesky international students, shit drivers, “foreign home buyers”, etc. Conversely, the Chinese understanding of NZ is basically dairy, South Island scenery and the haka. In starting Kiwese, I felt an alternative perspective could center Chinese people, primarily in the spheres of music and art, as well as bringing amazing Kiwi bands to Chinese audiences. After touring Orchestra of Spheres in 2015, there are now people in China whose understanding of NZ is a vision of floating eyeballs and alien spaceship commanders. To me, this is a success.
"Cultural encounters were full of tired panda-kiwi clichés. As a Chinese person myself, I found this direction troubling and misleading."
How did you end up in Chengdu? The first time I visited Chengdu in 2013, some friends took me to a bunch of places around town that all had this kind of hippy, psychedelic vibe. They took me to a party at an outdoor swimming pool and a pop-up DJ rave on a footbridge. It felt so much more chill than Beijing and I loved it. When I had the opportunity to choose which university to go to for a second year of study, I chose Sichuan University. I wanted to get better at Mandarin and lessen the temptation to speak English, so moving to Chengdu was a good way to do that.
Wellington during the mid-2000s, which exposed us to bands like The Mint Chicks, Connan and the Mockasins, The Phoenix Foundation and So So Modern, as well as local reggae, dub and D&B. That Wellington music community and the unofficial life mentoring I got from it definitely led me to what I do today.
What was your experience of moving to China, looking but not speaking Chinese? I’ve had my fair share of identity crises while living in China, especially in the first few years when my Chinese really sucked. There’s a whole world of missed cultural cues and communication problems that arise from being a non-native speaking Chinese. I’ve experienced a lot of alienation and helplessness, as well as a real sense of inclusion among the community and my peers. My appearance allows me to blend in. In China, I’ve had white friends say, “you’re so lucky you’re Chinese,” and Chinese people say “you’re so lucky you were born overseas.”
What are your thoughts on the general attitude towards Asian people in New Zealand, specifically towards the Chinese community? NZ is a lot more culturally diverse than it was when I was growing up in the 90s, largely due to the abolition of race-based immigration selection processes in the late 80s. I remember reading an article by Manying Ip which looked at the ways young NZ-born Asians behaved in reaction to greater Asian visibility in Auckland, including avoiding sitting near other Asians to minimise the impact of an Asian presence, or speaking with an exaggerated Kiwi accent when around groups of non-NZ born Asians. I realised that I’d probably subconsciously behaved like that too, because we’ve been conditioned to feel like our presence is only acceptable in small doses. The dominant group will never understand what that is like.
How did your upbringing in Aotearoa influence where you are now? Even at a young age, I was aware of Chinese stereotypes and enjoyed being able to subvert people’s expectations – being that crazy dancing chick at the front of every mosh pit was one way to do that. I was born and raised in Miramar, Wellington. When I was ten, I picked up guitar through waiata with our primary school kapa haka teacher. I’ve always been obsessed with rock ’n’ roll, collecting and documentation; I’d record cassette mixtapes off The Edge as a kid, and always followed the countdowns on C4. I used to busk down Cuba Street, meeting and jamming with loads of musicians, spending all my money at Real Groovy and Slow Boat Records, covering my walls with posters and sneaking into gigs on my sisters ID. There were a lot of free, all-age shows in
On a more personal level, before my Por Por passed away she was so happy I was going to be studying Chinese at university. Since then, I’ve always wanted to do her proud by sticking with it and coming to China.
There is no such thing as the Chinese community. There’re a whole bunch of Chinese people from different parts of the world with different roots, backgrounds and languages. The same goes for Pākehā in NZ, yet it would be unheard of to refer to the “European community” or the “British community.” As the dominant culture that controls NZ law and governance, Pākehā never have to think of themselves as an ethnic group. Many white people feel uncomfortable talking about their own ethnicity, as it brings forth feelings of guilt and privilege. Most liberal Pākehā tend to speak in favour of greater cultural diversity in New Zealand, but only to the point of having a greater range of Asian restaurants in town.
We all want to be recognised for who we really are; who we feel like on the inside. But first impressions will always be formed from how you look on the outside, regardless. I think for Asian people to feel safe, welcome and respected, NZ needs to confront and dissect its history of colonialism towards the Māori tangata whenua. Asian people in NZ are often viewed as this kind of foreign enemy invader, yet the British history of colonization is quietly left untouched.
"Asian people in NZ are often viewed as this kind of foreign enemy invader, yet the British history of colonization is quietly left untouched." What’s the best thing about living in China? Same for New Zealand? China has a lot of really convenient apps that let you get things delivered to your house, like Taobao and 外卖 (food delivery). I was back in NZ last month and buzzed out at how archaic Eftpos and phone top-ups felt in comparison to Alipay or WeChat. Living in China has been very humbling. Sometimes I feel like people in NZ get so hung up on little things like ‘oh my God, she bumped me and didn’t say sorry,’ perhaps because it’s so quiet and isolated there’s more room to be overcritical and anxious. Living in China makes you realise you are just a tiny speck upon the face of the world; to embrace the present because nothing is permanent. As for NZ, I can only speak to living in Wellington, but: familiarity, fresh air, fresh food, feminism, free speech, ocean, bush walks, coffee, friendly people, an amazing creative scene, record stores, book shops, great venues, op shops, brunch, Vogel’s, bird song, chill pace and cultural diversity. But on the other hand: generally
shit weather, increasing inequality, binge drinking culture and that awful macho bullshit behavior that can come with it. When I was back in Wellington last month I saw they’d literally constructed a pen on Courtenay Place to hold all the drunken rugby fans. Then this wasted white guy came up to me reeking of alcohol and was like “ni how ching chong?” I was so shocked, not because of the racism but just because I’d kind of forgotten I was Asian. I don’t have people constantly reminding me I’m Asian in China. Do you think you will ever come back to New Zealand to live? Why/why not? New Zealand is my home and will always have my heart. I will probably return in the future but for now I love the excitement and momentum of life in China. Now when I visit NZ I am more aware of the challenges Chinese people might encounter, little things often to do with language. Menus in China tell you exactly what the food is in four characters. In New Zealand, dishes can have some weird hipster name with no relation to the actual food, then like three lines of fancy ingredient description. In the future, I hope to be able to help people bridge some of those cultural gaps. I think that’s why I love working in music, because it's a language of its own. Any other comments about literally anything? It is so important for Asian people and People of Colour to voice their opinions, speak their minds and tell their stories, because if we don’t who else will? Like black American writer Barbara Christian said: “If black women don't say who they are, other people will say it badly for them”. We shouldn't just sit around waiting for the dominant culture to acknowledge us or throw us a token segment on TV or in print; we need to build our own audiences with our own voices.
Duck Fight Goose | 鸭打鹅
10 Chinese artists to listen to rn Kristen Ng aka Kaishandao (开山刀) plays electronic lo-fi techno drone performed with an electric guitar, effects, two Volca synthesizers and a cassette player. Inspired by the likes of Grimes, Grouper and Auckland’s Peach Milk, Kristen hopes Kaishandao will encourage more female artists in China to produce their own music. Here she brings you her top 10 Chinese music recommendations:
Who: Hiperson | 海朋森 Where: Chengdu (成都) What: Intense, emotional, guitar-driven post punk
Who: Duck Fight Goose | 鸭打鹅 Where: Shanghai (上海) What: Rock music for cyborg space clubs
Who: MIIIA Where: Shanghai (上海) What: Hard-hitting techno trip queen (resident at Elevator in Shanghai)
Who: Yue Xuan | 岳旋 Where: Beijing (北京) What: Gorgeous, melancholic piano compositions
Who: South Acid MiMi Dance Team | 南方酸性咪咪 Where: Kunming (昆明) What: Psychedelic party punk Who: Die Chiwawa! Die! Where: Guangzhou (广州) What: Hardcore/electro/screamo Who: Atmen Where: Chengdu (成都) What: An emerging label that focuses on minimal techno
Who: Iiimmune Where: Beijing (北京) What: New wave techno Who: Kawa Where: Yunnan (云南) What: Spacey psych reggae led by ethnic Wa musicians Lao Hei and Ayong Who: P.K.14 Where: Beijing (北京) What: Legendary post-punk group led by Yang Haisong, godfather of the Chinese indie scene
L O S T I N
T R A N S L A T I O N
Five whimsical Japanese words with no direct English translation Illustrated by Hope McConnell.
TsundokuÂ (n.) Buying books and letting them pile up in your home without reading them
Kuidaore (v.) To eat yourself into bankruptcy
Pretending to be out when someone knocks on your door
The bad feeling you get after a terrible haircut
Boketto (v.) The act of gazing vacantly into the distance without thinking
Indian theatre scene not in a ‘pickle’ With local theatre company Indian Ink celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Shawn Cleaver sat down with marketing intern and AUT student Ankita Singh to talk about Auckland’s burgeoning Indian theatre scene and the company’s reimagined production of ‘The Pickle King’.
By Shawn Cleaver “Nah, screw it. It’ll be good for your confidence.” That’s what Ankita Singh thought to herself as she disobeyed her parents’ wishes, choosing to take drama over math in high school. “Most Indian parents think you need to do math or science, because back in India it’s the only way.” While theatre probably wasn’t the career path Singh’s parents had envisaged for their daughter, those drama classes clearly paid off – landing her a marketing internship at one of New Zealand’s most renowned theatre companies, Indian Ink. Indian Ink has been producing successful theatre shows with an Indian twist since 1997. From its humble beginnings in a small rehearsal space in Wellington, the company has gone on to win a host of international awards and relocated to Auckland, where it has grown to become a well-established part of the local theatre scene. Indian Ink has a loyal fan base, but Singh says the company is trying to expand its reach within the local Indian community. “Whenever we do get people who are skeptical to go, they always have a wonderful experience…[the Indian community] is just not used to theatre that represents them.” The company has a strong focus on producing theatre that Indian immigrants can relate to, covering themes such as the migrant experience, assimilation and pushy Indian aunties who meddle in your affairs. “Our relatable approach is a bit different to the usual ‘over the top’ nature of traditional Indian theatre. However, we do have archetypes that a lot of Asian and Indian people can relate to.”
She says Indian Ink’s productions strike chords with many Indian theatre-goers, and have inspired other young people to get involved in the scene. “That is massive for us – encouraging other young Indians into the arts…We want to make it clear that you can follow your dreams if you want to, even if you are not confident.
“Auckland has such a supportive network of Asian artists who want the scene to grow.” Another Aotearoa-based Indian theatre organisation, Prayas, also produces theatre directed at an Indian audience, and Singh says with a lot of community level theatre also starting to come up, the scene is burgeoning. “There are many more Indian actors graduating too, so the Indian theatre community is growing rapidly,” she says. Indian Ink’s celebration of diversity isn’t only about race, says Singh. In the latest production of ‘The Pickle King’, the original love story has been adapted to feature a same-sex couple. “This only further voices the unique array of people we have in New Zealand. It’s new for Indian Ink, and an important conversation to have.” Fifteen years after the award-winning Pickle King premiered in 2002, the company is bringing the show to life once more to celebrate its 20th anniversary, touring the country until September. Singh encourages students to go along and experience Indian theatre. The Pickle King is showing at Q Theatre from 2-19th August. For special student ticket prices email email@example.com or see our giveaways page to win yourself a double pass.
Treat Yo'self Student life can be tough, which is why we search the city for the snazziest stuff to give away. Like the look of something below? Check out the details and head over to our Facebook page (facebook.com/ausmdebate) to enter. Winners will be drawn Monday 14th August.
Do be a Smartass The world's rain forests could completely vanish in a hundred years at the current rate of deforestation. You probably know that already, right? But did you know that you’re contributing to this deforestation every time you wipe your butt? Probably not, and that’s where Smartass comes in — it’s tree free toilet paper made from sugarcane and bamboo fibres free of bleach, inks, dyes and perfume… safe for the environment and for your ass. We have two cartons of Smartass toilet paper to give away. To win, like our page on Facebook and message us with your name, campus and ‘SMARTASS PLEASE’.
Tresses in a mess?
The cold weather can leave your hair dry, frizzy and damaged. But fear not, we’ve got our hands on some gorgeous Evo hair products to giveaway to one lucky Debate reader. Evo products are free from sulphates, parabens and other nasty chemicals, the packaging is 100% recyclable and they don’t test on animals. What’s not to love? To win, like our page on Facebook and message us with your name, campus and ‘EVO PLEASE’.
Been treating yourself a little too much over the winter months? Lucky for you, our friends at online wellness and apothecary store Forage have a beautiful Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox Kit to giveaway to one lucky Debate reader. This completely natural and easy 12-day detox will get you back on track before the weather warms up. To win, like our page on Facebook and message us with your name, campus and ‘DETOX PLEASE’.
你是中国人吗? Writer and director Alice Canton delves deep into the uncomfortable and nuanced conversation about race in OTHER [chinese], opening at Q Theatre in September. This large-scale documentary theatre show explores what it is to be Chinese in Auckland, here and now, and we have a double pass to giveaway to one lucky Debate reader. To win, like our page on Facebook and message us with your name, campus and ‘OTHER PLEASE’.
Toasty Toes George & Willy are creators of quality, timeless creative equipment and life tools for humans around the world, and we’re obsessed with their scrumptious Merino wool socks. Whether you’re hitting the slopes, or just braving a chilly day in the city, these 88% New Zealand Merino socks will keep your ankles looking suave and your toes feeling toasty. We have five pairs to giveaway. To win, like our page on Facebook and message us with your name, campus and ‘SOCKS PLEASE’.
The Pickle King Have you read Shawn Cleaver’s great piece about Auckland’s Indian theatre scene on page 16/17? Keen to check it out for yourself? We have a double pass to give away to the opening night of Indian Ink’s The Pickle King. To win, like our page on Facebook and message us with your name, campus and ‘PICKLE PLEASE’ (before Wednesday 02 August)!
Listen up: Not so casual racism Some late night thoughts from River Lin on “nice” racism and the importance of shutting your mouth once in a while. Illustration by Hope McConnell.
For me, the worst kind of racism isn't the passing comment telling me to go back to where I came from, or a joke about my slanted eyes, but the casual, covert racism of everyday life. The sort of comments that are meant to be interpreted as compliments: The woman who praises my lack of a foreign accent; the co-worker who gushes about my "good English"; the lecturer who repeatedly asks if I can follow what she’s saying. They are just being nice, they expect me to smile and thank them. On the other end of the spectrum are the people who think the answer to ending racism is its erasure; the stories and experiences of people of colour – all blanketed under the broad stroke of uniting in 'progress'. A white friend once said to me in earnest, “when I look into people’s eyes, I don’t see race – I see an individual.” She truly believed that everything would be alright with the world if everyone simply saw things the way she did – nothing in her life had ever told her otherwise.
The problem I see with this way of thinking (which I admittedly struggled to articulate when she asked), is that in order to see the world with this rose-coloured vision, I would need to erase the very experiences of difference which make up who I am. But I don't have that option, that privilege, to pretend that the colour of my skin doesn't affect how others see me, because it does and probably always will. Racism is hard to talk about. I get it. People are always quick to defend themselves from being branded a racist. But there are times when people need to just stop and listen. I'm not trying to be hostile – far from it. But, in a world where our voices are constantly drowned out by the resounding chorus of white voices, I just want to feel like I'm being heard. Because when I struggle to talk about my perspective in the heat of the moment, it isn't because of a single experience of being silenced, but each and every one of them. If I am to educate people, I need to first be heard.
Real Friends? Our intern Laine Yeager takes a look at some pretty shocking (if not slightly outdated) statistics on making friends as an international student in Aotearoa. Imagine arriving in an unfamiliar city, all alone, thousands of miles from home. You’re about to start at a new university where everyone speaks a foreign language, your lecturers included. You have to find a place to live, sort out all those niggly life admin tasks like opening a bank account, getting a sim card and navigating the public transport system, and, perhaps most importantly, make some friends. Sounds pretty daunting, right? This is the reality for the thousands of international students who come to Aotearoa from around the world every year. But, unfortunately for many of these students, making friends is the hard part. There’s a bunch of anecdotal evidence to support that we Kiwis aren’t the friendliest bunch when it comes to making our international students feel welcome, but aside from a study called The Experiences of International Students in New Zealand (last published in 2008), there doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of research on the subject. The aforementioned study, albeit it a bit dated, suggests that a large proportion of international students feel pretty stink about their relationships and general contact with
New Zealanders. More than a third of students said they had one or no Kiwi friends, and only 11% indicated they had ‘many’ New Zealand friends. It appears we’re not giving out the friendliest vibes either – only 17 percent of participants in the study said they felt New Zealanders would like to know international students better, while a whopping 48 percent strongly or mildly disagreed with the statement that New Zealanders desire close relationships with international students. And if you’re wondering ‘do these students even want to be friends with me?’ According to the study, yes they do. Most students indicated that they wanted more New Zealand friends and contact with Kiwis in general. ‘But they always hang out with people from the same country as them’, I hear you say. Well mate, I’m pretty sure if you landed in a foreign city where you don’t understand a word of the language, you’d be pretty quick to gravitate towards someone in a similar situation who speaks your mother tongue too. Futhermore, according to the study, increased contact with New Zealanders was related to positive academic, social and psychological outcomes for international students. So c’mon AUT, let’s make more of an effort with our international students – smile, say hello, offer to take them out for coffee and get to know them. Chances are you’ll have more in common than you realise. And just think about how you would want to be treated in an unfamiliar city, all alone, thousands of miles from home.
With the apparent lack of research online, I decided to speak to a group of international students about their experience of making (or not making) friends in New Zealand instead: Summer Wang, a Chinese student studying at AUT, has struggled to befriend local Kiwis because she doesn’t feel like she fits “one hundred percent” into our culture. Wang says this has held her back from approaching people who are not of her own ethnicity. The same goes for Yae Li, a Korean student who knew very little English when she first arrived in New Zealand. Li says the language barrier obviously contributed to this, but was keen to make some New Zealand friends as she prefers the Kiwi culture to her own, saying it gives her more freedom and “sometimes Asian cultures are too strict about things”. Allison Wang, who has lived in New Zealand since she was seven, said despite feeling like she fitted into the Kiwi culture, she found it difficult to make friends when she started university. “It was hard, because most people already had their friends and it was not that easy to approach new friends.” When she was younger, Wang felt like she was more a part of the Kiwi culture, but as she gets older she says she’s starting to feel more attached to her Chinese culture. “But I do feel that I fit into both cultures.” Richard Liao, also Chinese, had an easier time making friends when he arrived two and a half years ago. Liao says having Kiwi friends has made such a difference to his experience as an international student. He says they are patient with his English, appreciate his culture and help him with his studies by proofreading his assignments. “Step by step I am fitting more into Kiwi culture as time goes by.”
All the sex weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not having In light of Japan's plummeting sexual activity among millennials, our Go Fuck Yourself columnist Cordelia Huxtable talks sex in a Neoliberal world.
According to a bunch of recent stats, we (people born after 1981, sometimes referred to as ‘millennials’) are having less sex than our parents.1 Particularly for those of us living in Japan, where 45% of women aged 16-24 are not interested in sexual contact and a third of people in their 20s have never dated.2 Younger people are supposedly shagging less here too, with a (not so recent) 2012 study by the University of Auckland showing that one in four high school students are sexually active, down from one in three in 2007, and teen pregnancies have dropped by 20% since 2001.3 The internet is awash with articles and think-pieces on the topic (try Googling “young people not having sex”), but here’s my two cents on the research:
Neoliberalism kills libido Thanks to Neoliberalism, millennials are living far more precarious lives than the previous generation. Am I really going to start blaming the neoliberal agenda for the downturn in the amount of sex that’s being had? Yes, yes I am. Here’s my argument: Neoliberalism embraces individualism, privatization, ‘the market’ and capitalism; Neoliberalism leads to increased competition, less collectivism, less money, less time, less security, increased social anxiety and ego-casting; We’re working more, earning less, and feeling pretty insecure about the future; We’re competing more with each other, in a fight to the top, to gain access to limited resources; Things are finite: money, time, space, opportunities. Writers have linked this to the downturn of sex in Japan for young women in particular, who see their options as, a) embarking on a career, or b) marriage and sex. In a country
that holds conservative opinions towards casual sex – traditionally valuing men as breadwinners and women as stay-at-home parents – it’s near impossible to have both. Neoliberalism doesn’t mesh well with sex. Sex takes time, presence, connection and relaxation. Good sex requires being attuned to your body, and the ability to slow down. Sex is collaborative – the opposite of creating a personal brand.
Sex usually requires having to leave the house It takes me less than 10 seconds to open an internet tab and access free, highquality porn that satisfies my erotic niche. Thanks to the internet and its evolving technology, our generation can get ourselves off without leaving the house (which, let’s face it, is probably our parents’ house anyway) #millennialproblems There’s also some serious new technology – sex robots, for example – which is raising concerns that people will head home to their robots, instead of with each other (if you’re interested in wading into the fascinating world of sex robots and ethics, www.responsiblerobotics.org is a good place to start). Commentators in Japan are questioning if the rise in virtual reality porn is the result of young people looking for an escape, a way to find personal space in overcrowded cities. Personally, I don’t believe porn or sex technology will replace the flesh connection of person-to-person sex, but I do think this will contribute to lower numbers of people seeking out sexual partners IRL.
We decide what sex is What is sex anyway? In the Japanese studies, sex is still classified as the heteronormative act of inserting a penis
into a vagina (queer sex was totally ignored). But, in my opinion, sex is so much more than that, and means many different things to many different people. Trying to classify “sex” outside of heterosexual, cisgendered relationships becomes totally redundant with so many wonderful variations on what sex is to people whose gender may not be fixed, and whose coupling may not involve a penis (or a vagina for that matter). I love this. I love that we can decide what sex is and is not, and frame that for ourselves.
WHY is this an issue? Have as much (or as little) sex as you want! We’re obsessed with sex quantity, which has long been associated with relationship success and happiness, e.g. lots of sex in a monogamous long-term relationship equals highest pinnacle of relationship success. I remember reading in Cosmopolitan years ago that three times a week was a good number to aim for. This is so arbitrary! There are people who have little to no sex, and people who identify as asexual or gray-sexual, who have wonderfully happy relationships. In Japan, the identity soshoku danshi refers to men who have little interest in sexual or romantic relationships. I say embrace the sexual (or non-sexual) identities that feel good to you. Essentially, I write from a position of sex positivity: “A sex positive attitude towards human sexuality regards all consensual sexual activities as fundamentally healthy and pleasurable, encouraging sexual pleasure and experimentation”.4 Sex positive does not mean sex mandatory. Fuck, or don’t. It’s no-one else’s business what you consider to be sex and how much of it you’re having.
1 https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/aug/02/less-sex-please-were-millennials-study 2 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/20/young-people-japan-stopped-having-sex 3 http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11719945 4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex-positive_movement 25
Halfway down Dominion Road Chinese food aficionado and cheap eats expert Crystal Wu is eating her way along Dominion Road to bring you the best of Auckland’s favourite foodie strip. You can thank her later.
By Crystal Wu Craving something greasy and satisfying without the central city price tag? When it comes to authentic Asian food, Dominion Road is where it’s at. Unofficially known as Auckland’s ‘Chinatown’, D-Road has been a long-time haunt for foodies in the know. With lines spilling out the doors of fluorescently lit, rundown restaurants, with rather err… direct service – you at least know the food has to be good. And it damn well is. From hand-pulled noodles and freshly steamed dumplings to bubble tea and spicy beans, Dominion Road can offer you a myriad of hangover cures – and all for under $20. Here are my top five recommendations for where to eat and what to order.
Barilla Dumpling 571 Dominion Road, or 305 Dominion Road (BYO outlet) Barilla arguably makes the best dumplings in Auckland. Here, you’ll find generous portions ($12-15 for 20 pieces) of meaty, juicy goodness with more than 40 fillings to choose from, and vegetarian options available. Must try: ‘Fried French Beans with Spicy Salt’ ($14) – salty, sweet and bursting with flavour, these bad boys are seriously addictive.
Eden Noodles Café 105 Dominion Road You’ll probably get stuck in the constant queue outside this effortless little noodle house, but it’s well worth the wait. Spicy, sweet and gratifyingly tart, their Schezuan sauce will leave you in tears while you hold yourself back from slurping another bowl. Must try: ‘Dumpling in Spicy Sauce’ (from $5) and ‘Noodles with Sweet Special Sauce’ (from $10). And unless you’re a chilli fiend, order mild – you will underestimate the heat.
Shaolin Kungfu Noodle
1 Rocklands Ave (just off Dominion Road)
537 Dominion Road
636 Dominion Road
Northern Thai fusion with good vibes, great cocktails and super cute décor. Perfect for weeknight drinks!
Forget the late night Macca’s run. New Flavour is another top dumpling joint that’s open late most nights and is BYO (win-win). Always cheap, always cheerful.
It’s winter. Forget the smoothie bowls and wrap your mitts around a comforting bowl of hand-pulled noodles in a rich meaty broth.
Must try: ‘Crispy Fried Pork Slices with Sweet and Sour Sauce’ ($16.80), ‘Deep Fried Squid with Cumin and Chilli’ ($16).
Must try: ‘Kungfu Beef Noodles’ (from $10.80).
Must try: ‘Pad Thai Thamadaa’ ($16.50), ‘Steamed Buns’ (Gua Bao): pork belly, chicken or tofu ($8.50 each).
Featured Designer ::
Lulu Liu Lulu Liu completed her honours in Fashion Design at AUT last year. Much of her design influence comes from her personal background and nostalgia for her childhood. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Not necessarily from my cultural heritage, but more so from things I loved and remembered doing as a child, such as origami, DIY and crafting. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All of these things play a big part in the way I work as a designer.â&#x20AC;? She works mainly with patterns, and uses pattern cutting to lead her design outcomes.
Designer: Lulu Liu (@lululiustudios) Models: Teagan & Tresor (@uniquemodelmanagement)
Styling + Photography: Shivan Patel (@gathum / gathum.co.nz) Makeup: Jamila Serville (@jamilaserville)
Deracinate* Poem by Chris Tse
In this terracotta haze my skin reads like foxed pages yesterday’s news forged by the trial and error of endangered life. This country built on a heart of borders between old and new every life a soldier caught up in uneasy grace. Just another chink in my armour. Just another son missing in a long line of dislocations from the motherland from a mother tongue that licks at the hollow of my mouth down to each last beat of my difficult language. This talk of the other that trails my every move back home speaks not of defiance, but of blood-clot guilt. Here, like evidence on trial, it pushes me across every defined border only to end up on my own side still where the verdict is my scarlet letter. Of course it mattered back then too, possibly even more so – not knowing which crayons to use at school for family portraits, and if it wasn’t my name or my lunchbox contents
it was the Chinese tongue I so easily surrendered to the playground government all my colours running in the wash. These days it seems I’m losing myself again more than ever reborn in China like every other disconnected branch split straight down the middle and walked out into proof. They can see who I really am all soil and tears the product of fearless journey and the settler dream when all I want is to be brave in safety with my inherited demons. I am but a tourist a counterfeit in their nights of private games, scattered on the wind a million leaves to the score. I bring nothing but a selfish search and a claim to belong. Behind the safety of hotel windows protected from the vice-like grip of beggar kids where curtains divided reveal this country for what it is: grey inconsistent and for reasons unknown utterly addictive.
*Deracinate (verb) – to uproot (someone) from their natural geographical, social, or cultural environment. Chris Tse is a New Zealand poet and sandwich enthusiast. For more poems by Chris, grab a copy of his book, How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes, which won the Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry in 2016, and is shortlisted for the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. This poem was originally published in AUP New Poets 4 (Auckland University Press, 2011). 29
Everybody Eats at Gemmayze Street Reviewed by Georgia Merton
The idea behind Everybody Eats is so simple you have to wonder why no one came up with it earlier. Every Monday, a group of chefs rescue produce destined for the landfill (but still perfectly good to use) from local supermarkets. They cook up a beautiful three-course meal using the kitchen at Lebanese restaurant Gemmayze Street on Karangahape Road, and serve it up from 6-8pm on a 'pay as you feel' basis.
Koha is gladly accepted, but the idea is that anybody can come and eat dinner for free. The result is a lively affair in St Kevin’s Arcade, with a crowd as diverse as K Road itself. For the homeless, this Monday night occasion offers not only a delicious meal (complete with micro-greens and smiling service), but a warm and dry place to sit down and relax in a welcoming atmosphere. While the idea may be simple, the execution is phenomenal. The food is thoughtfully prepared and seriously tasty, and the volunteer hospo crew is smiley and efficient. Vegos are well looked after; the smoked cauliflower and eggplant pasta was delectable, and they even specially made up a vegan dessert. Get in early for a table, or roll up your sleeves and help out with some prep on a Monday afternoon – they’re always looking for an extra pair of hands.
Daniel Berehulak, for The New York Times
World Press Photo Exhibition
Wukong the Monkey King | Album Reviewed by Paige Janssen
Exhibition (2017) | Auckland Reviewed by Simran Singh
Auckland Band Wukong the Monkey King is swinging into the New Zealand music charts and making listeners go bananas with the recent release of their album Wukong /悟空.
I was absolutely euphoric when I got my hands on a ticket to the World Press Photo Exhibition, which came with a warning of ‘graphic content’ in fine print. The exhibition (held at Smith & Caughey’s throughout July) showcased an array of incredibly striking photographs from all over the world.
Founded in September 2013, the band ended up working with Yang Haisong of Psycho Kong, recording their new album under a derelict shopping mall in Beijing in just three days. Featuring 12 new songs sung in a mixture of both English and Mandarin, the album is best described as a fusion of alternative rock and psychedelic sound. The first song, Cosmic Run /宇宙跑, throws you into a sense of synesthesia, with sounds blending together to create a psychedelic cosmic masterpiece. The Mandarin lyrics, ‘visions shift, colours blur’, reflect the experience of losing yourself in the unique sound of the album.
The fact that these images emerge from real life scenarios makes them almost palpable. From Bence Máté's larger than life representation of animals under moonlight, to the raw emotions of Syrian children who had become the targets of artillery bombardment (Abd Doumany), this exhibition has something for everyone – though possibly not the faint hearted!
This continues throughout the album, from the jazzy tunes in Deep Groove / 深沟, to the bass and soft vocals in Jiàng Luò /降落. Wukong / 悟空 is entrancing; offering a Mandarin whisper in a sweet break of music, and deep vibrations of the bass coupled with the soft tinkle of piano keys
Valery Melnikov’s work particularly stood out for me, presenting a tinge of irony in his shots taken in Russia. One particular photo that caught my eye was of a gilded, golden church standing tall in the foreground against thick smog rising from a distant bombardment. The same ironic theme is witnessed in Melnikov’s shot of an old man watering a withered flower that is growing in a dirty puddle amidst the chaos of Spartak. It struck me as a visual representation of a ‘ray of hope’.
The band wants their music to be a medium through which different cultures and people can connect, jam out, boogie and groove to. “We make music we like because we like it. I think this philosophy allows for a unique sound to arise and it’s pretty awesome to see people vibing to music that is so uniquely Wukong,” says keyboard and saxophonist Bryan Paolo.
After seeing the exhibition, I know what the idiom ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ truly means. The photographs carry immense pain, joy, and a myriad of other emotions. And they change with perspective: Jaime Fojo’s photo of monarch butterflies delighted me from afar, but upon closer inspection I realised they were all dead from the wrath of a Mexican snowstorm.
And the sound is certainly unique, with each song on Wukong/悟空 leaving you totally immersed and eagerly waiting for whatever wild sound they bring about next.
This exhibition educates and awakens the common man to what’s happening around the world. Go and see it next year – I promise it will make something click within.
STICKY PORK GUA BAO WITH PICKLED CUCUMBER
6 gua bao buns
Heat oven to 180ยบC.
Place all pork ingredients except the pork into a bowl and mix together. Place the pork in a baking dish and add the mixture. Mix until pork is completely coated, then cover and let marinade for 2 hours.
600g pork slices 3cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated 2 cloves of garlic, minced 1/3 cup hoisin sauce, plus extra to serve 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1/4 cup shoaxing Chinese rice wine
PICKLED CUCUMBER 1 cucumber, peeled into long strips 1 clove of garlic, minced 1 tablespoon sesame oil 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 1 teaspoon sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, plus extra to serve Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
Bake pork for 20-30 minutes or until golden and sticky (turn the pork over halfway through cooking). Steam gua bao according to packet instructions. Peel cucumber into long strips. Mix together all remaining ingredients and pour over cucumber. In a food processor or with a mortar and pestle, smash up peanuts and sugar until you have a crumb consistency.
Smear a little hoisin in the base of each gua bao, add pickled cucumber and pork and finish with coriander leaves and crushed peanuts.
1/2 cup roasted peanuts 1/2 teaspoon raw sugar
Gua bao can be found in the freezer section of most asian grocers.
Photo and recipe supplied by The Hungry Cook. For more recipes, follow her on Instagram (@thehungrycooknz) or check out her Facebook page (facebook.com/thehungrycooknz).
Asian Food for Basic Bitches
WORD MATCH Try to match which word means 'Debate' in another language!
Teriyaki Chicken Sushi
Green Thai Curry
Circle all the words in the wordfind, tear this page out and pop it into the box on the side of the red Debate stands. Do it and you could win a motherflippin’ sweet prize!
Italian: dibattio Icelandic: Umræðan German: Debatte Korean:
Mild Butter Chicken
Chinese: 辯論 Finnish: keskustelu Japanese: ディベート
Sweet and Sour Pork
YOUR NIGHT OF “GUILTY PLEASURE” RETRO HITS
s y a d s r Thu THURSDAYS
Where will AUT take you? Could it be to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington DC, Colorado Springs or Vancouver? Could it be interning for a company like Lululemon, Westpac, Sundance Institute, Fonterra or Icebreaker?
with DJ Vincent Hanna & special guests. R18.
DRINK SPECIALS 10% Student Discount with AUT / AU student ID on Throwback Thursday specials. ID must be valid to receive discount.
Visit internz.aut.ac.nz to see scholarship eligibility criteria and apply before 31 August.
LAUNCH YOUR CAREER AT INTERNZ.AUT.AC.NZ