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Introduction

Sweet and Sour was conceived with the notion of creating a space for individuals with Asian heritage in Australia to share our thoughts, experiences and creativity. Every word, illustration, and drawing within this book comes from an Asian creator, but is produced for the consumption of everyone, no matter your race or culture.

Being Asian today in Australia is not easy. When more than one culture demands your allegiance, there is a bizarre sense of existing between multiple worlds, yet not fully belonging to either. Whether we are an international student, a mixed race individual or a second generation immigrant, many of us belong to multiple cultural identities, and face issues relating to belonging, racism and identity. This year, as Covid-19 spread across the world, along with it came a rise in xenophobia catalysed by the pandemic. As our Black brothers and sisters fight against systemic racism, we stand with them, evoking difficult conversations with our own families to consider our place in the movement.

The wealth of pieces collected in this zine explore a variety of issues associated with being Asian in Australia. Many of them are difficult to talk about and often hard to articulate. We see the subject of identity is explored through our relationship with food, Aussie references, and WhatsApp screenshots, offering a wealth of insight into our intimate experiences. We hope the writers and artists found solace in putting their thoughts to paper, and we hope the readers may relate in the same way. It is a powerful feeling when we realize we are not alone and many of our experiences are shared with others. Our platform hopes to provide a supportive environment for us to talk about the specific issues we face, and come together as a community to explore and share our cultures, connect and heal.

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