My Beautiful Schwesters
Adam Barolsky laments about the people and life you leave behind when you migrate to a new place.
ADAM BAROLSKY (VOICEOVER): When I missed Cat's 21st, I cried and cried on the phone to her from our little flat in Perth. I felt so forlorn sitting in an empty lounge room and thinking of the wealth I left behind.
Bushty, we all call her that in the family, it's not her real name, only the result of my parents' confusion about their Litvak heritage. Bushty wrote me [INAUDIBLE], an angry, despairing, accusing email that was unanswerable. It demanded reparation, it demanded we come back to Johannesburg.
When she celebrated her 40th last year, she pleaded again on video. She said, so you're really putting down roots. Bricks and trees, flowers and bees, my schwesters and their schnauzers.
In my nightmares, my little sister's buried after some terrible accident or violence. And I'm standing again in West Park Cemetery where our parents are buried.
In reality, Cat was kicked to the ground by her celebrity boyfriend, and I was at work.
In reality, Bush was bound and gagged in her home, and I was sleeping.
Bush writes for four years to become, as Cat says, the first doctor in the family. Cat finds a boyfriend who will protect her. Bush has a secret liaison with a nice Muslim boy, but she won't tell.
Schnauzers, bowzers, wowzers, trousers, schnauzers.
In my fantasy, Cath and Bush arrive to stay with us forever. Though I hope happy refugees, they discover their luck.
But when I travel the freeway to work for the first time, my guts told me a whole other truth. I cried in the car twice, and it felt much better. But not really. I cry in the toilets on the plan after I visit. I think about my parents with their graves lined up side by side. Schnauzers, bowzers, wowzers, trousers, schnauzers. My beautiful schwesters.
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My Beautiful Schwesters
Story education resources
Education Museum Victoria: Drama and Cultural Diversity
These resources for Years 2 - 12 students focus on immigration and cultural diversity through drama based activities. School-based activities are provided for before or after an excursion to the Immigration Museum , or may be used as an additional resource for teaching immigration and/or cultural diversity themes in classroom programs.
Education ACMI Generator - Immigration Stories
Diverse digital stories about the immigrant experience in Australia.
Immigrants who arrived in Australia from countries as varied as Ethiopa, Italy and Vietnam describe the sacrifices made, the experience of arriving in a new country and how immigration impacts on the next generation. Each digital story and theme is accompanied by education resources suitable for VELS 4-6.