[Student] I would never let my kids forget that they’re Lebanese because I know that my cousins sometimes do that, they get married to an Italian or an Aussie and they forget their background and I also pass down my faith because it’s really, I’m not like Catholic or anything, I’m actually Orthodox and it’s a lot stricter and it’s just got all of these traditions and a culture to it that I want my kids to have that.
[Student] Me as well, I definitely pass down my religion because it’s a big part of my life, my religion so I would definitely pass that down to my kids.
[Student] Well definitely Christianity but they have to accept it first. I’ll probably bring it into their lives at a young age and teach them about it and they should accept it but show them my point of views and that I really want them to have this religion because it’s been down the family for a long time and it really means something in my life as well. So I’d like my children to have this, like this Christianity. What about you?
[Student] Well, I’d probably leave it up to them honestly because it’s not my life, their life is not my life, I don’t really want to force them into doing something that they don’t really want to do, but the same as you, I’d express how important the Catholic religion is and how much it means to our family whereas I wouldn’t hold anything against them if they didn’t want to carry that on.
[Student] Well, I’d obviously introduce Islam to them at a young age and I would probably show them out traditions because I come from an Egyptian background and my parents, we have that Egyptian culture in us and I’d give that to my children as well and teach them about Islam and everything at a young age and make them more aware about the community and teach them to be open and help in the community. How about you?
[Student] Well, I’d definitely get them baptised and introduced them to the Catholic community and the religion at an early age and as bad as this sounds I don’t know how good I would be with taking them to church every Sunday but I definitely want them to go to a Catholic school and to be exposed to the religion and to be exposed to God and Jesus and all his beliefs and the beliefs that we now carry. But to what extent I’m not exactly sure but they would definitely be Catholic.
[Student] In terms of finding a husband, would you want your husband to be Catholic or just Christian or it doesn’t really matter?
[Student] I’m not sure, I guess it would really depend. I mean I’d probably prefer if they were Catholic or Christian but it’s sort of hard to tell now, we’re still pretty young, like what would you think about that?
[Student] I would definitely want a Jewish husband because I think I would want to raise my kids Jewish and for me my whole life is just revolved around Judaism and I think it’s really important although in Judaism if the mother is Jewish the kids are automatically Jewish, by having a Jewish husband it would mean we’d practice Judaism within our family and I think it’s an important thing.
[Student] Would you marry someone with your own faith or nationality?
[Student] I don’t know, I’d probably, with my own faith, yeah.
[Student] My parents wouldn’t let me.
[Student] Yeah mine probably wouldn’t either, I don’t know, yeah, and also my parents would probably, even from a different background they’ll think, there would be too many problems with someone from a different backgrounds.
[Student] Yeah, that’s what my dad thinks.
[Student] Because you wouldn’t have anything in common or something.
[Student] I reckon it’s important to keep your...
[Student] Your roots, your values, honesty...
[Student] Yeah, you’re rules and stuff like that because it makes you what you are, it makes you different from other people that if you come from somewhere, if you’re just trying to blend in with the crowd without any of your cultural background beliefs and you’re just another person in the crowd.
[Student] I think it’s really good to know where you stand in society, like you should keep the old but also you should be aware of the new, if you know what I mean. You should keep yourself and be proud of yourself, where you come from, your history...
[Student] That’s like the way my mum thinks but if you want to keep your roots with your kids then your kids are going just going to be like 'I don’t want to, I want to make my own style, my own...'
[Student] Yeah, sure, give them freedom and things like that but I think it’s important to know they don’t have to follow it but I think it’s important they’re aware.
[Student] Just to keep it in mind
[Student] Yeah, they should be aware because it’s better to be aware but still not do the right thing rather than being totally unaware.
[Student] How would you say you retain your culture and identity in places like Australian where there’s so much going on?
[Student] I guess I have to have something that I can relate to or I can say ‘You need that, that’s mine,’ like for this I’m who I am, like being a Muslim, like praying five times a day, not every religion does pray five times a day and especially for me, my favourite part of my identification is my beard because you don’t see a lot of 15 year olds with beards.
[Student] So what are some of the tensions you face with remaining within your own culture but also part of the Australian culture?
[Student] Well for me, especially being a Muslim, we don’t drink, we don’t have relationships before marriage, smoking and all of that is sort of all out of the question and that’s sometimes something that can be a big part of the Australian culture where mates might ask other mates to go for a drink or whatever, we can’t do that so it’s not really a tension, I mean it definitely plays a part, especially when I have Australian friends who might ask me to their 18th birthday and there will be lots and lots of alcohol so I’m sitting there and making sure that I don’t put myself in that position as well.
[Student] I think because a lot of Australia generally is a Catholic nation there’s not really as many tensions as probably if I was a Muslim or another religion but there’s still the tensions of the people who aren’t Catholic and then you have them and there’s our rules and stuff, like there’s the no sex before marriage sort of stuff and there’s all the pressures and everything people saying 'You should be doing this, you should move in with this person if you’re in a relationship' but there’s probably not as many tensions as you have but I think we still have our own.