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Bred in South Auckland Essay

I think Glen Colquhoun’s purpose in creating this poem was to make people, like myself, realise our self-worth and embrace our individuality. He mocks his everyday habits to show us that we can’t always be put into categories, just because a person does something like ‘…I read the newspaper. ’ That doesn’t mean the person has to be stereotyped into a certain group, in this case ‘Some people think I am a typical Pakeha’.

I really enjoyed reading the way the author made fun of his everyday habits to tell that there is more than one way of viewing our identity, instead of being guided to a racial or cultural stereotype. I found it easy to believe him when he said ‘I think I am the luckiest mongrel I know. ’ He accepted his cultures but did not let them sculpt him into their typical stereotypes. I really liked the way Glen Colquhoun relates himself to four stereotypical cultures: Maori, Pakeha, Asian and Pacific Islander.

I also enjoyed the way he described his everyday habits to each of his cultures. ‘I think I’m the luckiest mongrel I know’ by portraying himself as a mongrel- a dog of mixed breed he tells us he has many different cultural influences as a part of him. This quote made me realise that every person has many dimensions to them; it doesn’t matter if your family isn’t from multiple cultures. When you grow up in a society where there are many diverse cultures influencing your behaviour, your attitude, it shapes your personality and you as a person.

This poem relates to many people around New Zealand, especially in South Auckland because we’re so multi-cultural and so many people have parents, partners, cousins, aunties and uncles from many different cultures. Even though I’m from Pakistan some people think I’m Indian and others think I’m from some Middle Eastern country. So in a way I could relate to this. I enjoyed reading this poem because the theme relates to everyday things and everyone gets stereotyped at some point in their life regardless of their culture, which is why we should define ourselves by our personality not culture stereotypes.


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