My name is Peggy. I am Malaysian Chinese but I was born in Austria. I came to New Zealand when I was around 8 years old. Pretty much grew up in New Zealand. I’ve got two brothers, both were born here. I’ve finished my studies and now I am working.

When my family came to New Zealand, Mum said we lived in Papakura. This was a farm area. Then we moved down to Manurewa, which is pretty good, that’s how I got my south Auckland accent.

I remember like snippets of my life in Austria because my parents went there quite young and they had a family business there. We were the only Asian family in town. I remember going up with my cousin to kindergarten there.

I think I asked my Mum why we moved to New Zealand, because like I remember getting on the plane and saying good bye to my cousin and I didn’t know where I was going. And my mum didn’t even tell me.

I think after, you know, my teens, I was wondering why I ended up in New Zealand. My Mum said that they visited New Zealand when I was about 2 years old and they quite liked it because it was still a growing country with much potential and, compared to Austria, it’s more diverse.

Which is interesting. I guess they were planning down the road, to move to New Zealand. That was their vision because it was more diverse and had more opportunity for kids to grow up. And also I think since English was the language spoken around lots of countries in the world, and it was spoken in New Zealand. In Austria they spoke German, the main language. English wasn't the compulsory subject until you get to college, so I thought, that’s why they wanted to move to New Zealand. I guess they fell in love with New Zealand when they came to visit for the first time.

I had no choice. I didn't know where I was going. I was very sad because most of my first friends and my cousins are still in Austria. We are the only I think the first generation of Ang family to migrate to New Zealand.

So I didn’t feel much of the effect until we started going to school and talked about where you came from, like the culture. I got really confused because there is a term called’ Fruit Salad’. That’s what they call me. My nationality is Malaysian Chinese but I never really lived in Malaysia. The only cultural experience I got about Malaysians is from my parents. It’s just the traditional things they do like during new year and things like that. I was born in Austria. Snippets of my childhood were spent in Austria. New Zealand is my adopted country and here’s where I have to develop an understanding of who I really am, where I am from. It’s kind of confusing. I consider myself a Kiwi because I grew up in New Zealand, studied here and now I am working and I am citizen.

I don’t speak German fluently anymore. My Chinese, Mandarin is even worst. It’s quite FOB [fresh off the boat]. So I speak my home town language which is ‘Hokian’, Malaysian and of course English. So, I speak three languages.

I would like to share my address book that I got when I was little. Obviously Mum got it for me. I didn’t know how to write because I was still little. It says on the front ‘my friends’ in German. So pretty much in here are all my cousins, my friends and my teachers back in Austria.

I’m not in touch with many people because we moved a lot when we came to New Zealand. Where we first lived in Manurewa was quite dangerous. Overnight, my Dad’s car would disappear and it would end up two street down the road.

My Mum felt a sense of panicked urgency that we needed to be in a better neighbourhood so we moved around a lot and actually settled in Pakuranga. That’s when I first stayed in a school for a longer period of time. My primary school was Elm Park in Pakuranga and that’s where my second part of childhood was.

At first in primary school I think it was kind of hard to make friends. There weren’t many Asians and there was actually lots of bullying. I was bullied. The usual – people making Asian eyes and saying ching chong at you. Yeah it wasn’t nice. I shrugged it off, at some point you have to stand up for yourself though.

When we moved to Pakuranga the bullying got better. I think the school got more Asians. I guess it got around all the Asians that Pakuranga was the safest place. That’s why everyone moved there and from then onward it wasn’t hard to make friends.

Being Kiwi to me means the unique culture, the language, the accent that we have. Making Auckland my ‘hometown’ because I grew up here. That’s why I feel safe and comfortable here, because you know the streets, every corner of your neighbourhood.

When I go overseas, because I travel and love travelling, when people asked me where I am from and when I say New Zealand and Auckland, they’re always surprised. And they say they want to visit.

I really like New Zealand because you’re safe here, comfortable. You build up your friendships with everyone here. Now if I think about leaving New Zealand, it will be quite hard because after many years of living here – I guess 16 years of living here – it is a place in your heart that you can’t just forget. That’s why I consider myself Kiwi.

I like Rainbow’s End because at first I didn’t like New Zealand, because I had no one. None of my family was here. I was an only child before my brothers were born.

So one day my Mum and Dad took me to Rainbow’s End. It’s an Asian thing I guess to have a life lesson in things like these. Even if we are having fun, there is a huge lecture afterwards!

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