Author: breakingin2016

The Great Wall of China


After being assigned and assignment that required us to engage with Asian culture, I booked a trip to China and camped on The Great Wall of China. This is how it went down.

To further explain exactly what happened in the raw footage compilation, as well as give a bit more of an educational understanding of the experience, I recorded an additional video.

I hope these two videos accurately portray how incredible my experience with The Great Wall of China was and how grateful and honoured I am to have had this opportunity.

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Giving meaning to the narrative


The narrative of my last blog post alluded to my personal experience with motorbikes within Vietnam. My reaction to this phenomenon and account of this, must take into account my personal, cultural framework and experiences.

Autoethnographically, I must use this data to draw meaning and understanding from the experience, and acknowledge what factors were/are at play that may affect my perception of the situation.

Evidently, my past exposure to motorbikes in Vietnam has partially removed the initial shock factor about their roads and motorbike situation, and possibly means I am less taken aback by it. As I have recounted, I have been previously exposed to this element of Vietnamese lifestyle, when I was much younger. As Méndez (2014) informs us, it is important to recognise the researcher as intimately related to the phenomenon. The recognition of past exposure demonstrates that I acknowledge that my relation to this phenomenon is dynamic…

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Motorbikes and Vietnam


As a child, I can remember visiting Vietnam a few times, as my dad is Vietnamese and it was a relevant destination. My first memories of motorbikes in Vietnam are of squeezing 5 of us on one, all the kids in the middle laughing at being squished together. I can remember that they fit together like a strange jigsaw, all the bikes going every which way, yet it worked. For me, being on the back of the bike with my dad driving wasn’t much different to Australia, where he also owned a bike and spent afternoons taking us on joy rides around the area. It was fun and fast, a treat at the end of a school day and in Vietnam it felt the same, just a means to get from A to B with my dad, a bit of fun.

The last time I visited Vietnam I think I…

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Ellis et al (2001) states, “Autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyse (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural experience (ethno)”. 

A term somewhat foreign to me, autoethnography, to my understanding, requires me to have a sound understanding of my cultural background and forces at play. In having this understanding, I am able to better unpack why I am experiencing a new culture in a certain manner.

Ellis recognises that “stories were complex, constitutive, meaningful phenomena that taught morals and ethics, introduced unique ways of thinking and feeling, and helped people make sense of themselves and others”. Therefore, mediums such as film are large conveyors of culture and understanding of culture. Film in this sense, I believe, can portray two things that at times can be simultaneous. Firstly, cultural structure and norms, the…

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State of Play – My cultural observation


In the coming weeks I will be analysing various films that are produced by and reflective of cultures different from my own. Having an understanding of my personal culture allows for me to interpret why I am receiving and reacting to the alternate culture in a certain way.

Cultural background is a broad term encompassing more than just ethnicity and I believe various sub-cultural groups are large influencers on our cultural identity. My ethnic background consists of Vietnamese on my dad’s side, and Anglo-Celtic Australian on my mum’s side. My upbringing was largely influenced by my Australian side and celebrations, meals and values I have been taught align with my mum’s family.

Other experiences have also shaped my worldview and general perception of situations. My consistent participation in high level women’s soccer has allowed me to strive for equal gendered rights and pay, to value physical health through a balanced…

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