Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Isn’t everything mainstream?

What is mainstream? Mainstream would be what is deemed normal, perhaps. Or dominant? Some of you may think of the word majority. Whatever your definition may be, we still point to it thinking that anything that is mainstream is the norm.

But what is not normal? What is not mainstream?

We now live in an age whereby rights of various groups are upheld and fought for. We want to live in a just and respectful society. To achieve that, we say that we would need to abolish preferential treatment of certain groups. Have we succeeded in doing so?

In Australia, there are ‘mainstream’ schools and Aboriginal schools and similarly in New Zealand, where they have Maori schools that are open to everyone. In Malaysia, we have the Malay, Chinese and Tamil schools, all, which are open to any member of the society from any ethnicity. So tell me, which schools are mainstream and which are not?

They cater to everyone. If we deem mainstream ‘normal’ and ‘majority’, should they not all be considered mainstream schools, then?

Everywhere you go, you would be able to find shops run by Chinese, Korean, Indian and some other nationality. Okay, let us focus on the Chinese in Malaysia and Australia. We are not considered mainstream but our influences are everywhere! There is Chinese press, Chinese radio stations, Chinese television networks, Chinese shops of all sorts and the Chinese language is everywhere. But we are not mainstream.

If we fight for equality and claim that we are a fair country, shouldn’t everything be mainstream?

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