Reflection Essay on Belonging Speech

Acceptance and understanding are necessary for a sense of belonging. |Good morning/afternoon teachers and fellow students. I am here today to talk about and demonstrate how different texts show that acceptance | |and understanding are necessary for a sense of belonging. | |Belonging is a sense of enlightenment felt when an individual gains an understanding of himself in relation to others and the wider world. | |Belonging is based on how we feel about the connection we have with the group we belong to. |Different texts show ‘acceptance’ and ‘understanding’ of belonging in diverse ways, some of which are: | |A contrast between different characters’ or groups’ perspectives about belonging. | |A change in an individual’s or group’s attitude to belonging over time. | |An individual’s choice to “not belong” or barriers which prevent him from belonging. | |An individual’s potential to challenge or enrich a community or a group. |The two prescribed texts “The China Coin” by Allen Bailey and “Immigrant Chronicle” by Peter Skrzinecki and the related text of my choice “My | |Big Fat Greek Wedding” by Joel Zwick use these techniques to present perspectives about belonging. | |These texts have shown that acceptance and understanding are necessary for a sense of belonging by presenting their information: | |In specific text types/genres structured in ways to best convey their message. |As a contrast between various characters and their perspectives, in which the characters are of various ages, from different cultures and also| |of differing genders and life experiences. | |With carefully chosen language/visual techniques in order to achieve the purpose of their text. | |The first prescribed text “The China Coin” by Allen Bailey is a novel that recounts the story of a Eurasian girl “Leah” and her mother “Joan” | |when they travel to China after the death of Leah’s father “David Waters” to search for one half of a broken Chinese Coin. The novel is | |divided into several chapters that are based on different episodes.
The structure of this novel aims to facilitate and make it easy for the | |readers to understand the message of belonging that the author wants to convey. | |The main characters of this novel are Leah who was born in Australia and her mother Joan who has a Chinese background. Even though these two | |characters are of the same gender, they are of different ages and have experienced life in different cultures. This makes Joan belong more to | |China. | |Emotive language is one of the many techniques used by Allen Bailey to show that acceptance and understanding are necessary for a sense of | |belonging. |In the initial stages of the story, after Leah was caught up in the students’ protest, in the streets of Shanghai, and returned to the hotel, | |there resulted an argument between her mother and her. Leah was upset and said “I didn’t ask to come! It’s your rotten China. ” The adjective | |“rotten” stresses on how Leah feels alienated and distant from China. This example shows that Leah could not understand China and the Chinese| |culture, and therefore could neither accept it nor feel a sense of belonging. | |Over time, Leah grew to accept and understand the Chinese culture and her mother better as a result of her experiences in China.
Allen Bailey | |has shown this by using various language technique | |The technique ‘inner monologue’ used in the novel to show that acceptance and understanding are necessary for a sense of belonging. In the | |second half of the novel, when Leah was on her way to visit Joan in hospital in Red Star Village, Leah told herself “Try to think how she has | |been feeling! ” This technique shows that Leah was starting to change as she reminded herself to accept her mother and try and understand | |whatever her mother went through. | | |In the collection of poems “Immigrant Chronicle”, Peter Skrzinecki has used different language techniques to show that acceptance and | |understanding are necessary for a sense of belonging. | |In the poem “St Patrick’s College”, Peter Skrzinecki chooses to be negative and not belong. “For eight years” he played chasing up and down the| |ramp in the train station, and he has chosen to be “like a foreign tourist”. While he physically belongs to the college, he spiritually | |doesn’t have any sense of belonging.

In this poem, he shows no connection to his friends, he would rather have relationship with Our Lady. | |This can be seen when he says “Our lady watched” and “Our lady is still watching” This technique of personification and repetition has clearly| |shown his choice of not belonging. | |In comparison to “St Patrick’s College”, Feliks in the poem “Feliks Skrzinecki” feels a close connection to places and people. He has a solid| |relationship to a place that is not his cultural homeland which is his garden.
He is described at the beginning of the poem as “loving his | |garden like an only child” and “sweeping its paths ten times around the world. ” The simile and hyperbole show a sense of his addiction to his | |garden and his protective feelings towards it. This poem shows that ‘acceptance’ and ‘understanding’ are necessary for a sense of belonging. | |In the film “MY Big Fat Greek Wedding”, alienation or not belonging is explored through cultural differences and backgrounds. | |In the film Toula is limited in what she can do because she belongs to her Greek family.
For example, when Toula is at the cafe and her sister| |notices a paper containing details about a computer course, after an argument Toula’s sister throws the paper away, she wants Toula to remain | |at the cafe until she gets married. During this scene a high camera angle was used to show Toula’s sadness. | |Director Joel Zwick has shown that belonging only has negative implications, these being a lack of self esteem. Once Toula is free from | |belonging to her Greek family and society an immediate change in Toula’s confidence is shown.
Toula’s body langue was negative, head down, | |symbolizing her low self esteem because of belonging to a controlling group, once she can attend the computer classes; we notice positive body| |language, straight back, looking after appearance and low camera angles are now being used to show her positive attitude. | |When Ian wants to marry Toula, he is not welcomed by Toula’s family, this is shown when Ian asks Gus (Toula’s father) if he could date her, | |Gus says no and a low camera angle is used on Gus, however when the camera goes back to Ian, a high camera angle is used to show his | |isolation, and alienation. |Later on in the movie Toula and Ian belong together. Their love for one another is very strong, so the parents of both characters are forced | |to accept this and must forget their differences, now both families belong together even though they are different they are both similar | |explained by the quote from Gus “We are oranges and you are apples but we are both fruit”. Positive fast paced music and low camera angles are| |used to show that both families have accepted and understood each other’s value and there is now a sense of unity within both families. |In conclusion, the two prescribed texts and my own related text prove that life presents us with challenges and opportunities to connect to | |our world but we have to take the adventure and choose to belong or stay alienated. | |Thank you everyone for giving your time and listening to me. Hope you have all enjoyed your time while listening to my speech and that I have | |made a clear explanation of how acceptance and understanding are necessary for belonging. |

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