I have been in Australia for say... 10 years? I was schooled here since Year 7/Form 1 and i have always ensured my identity as a Malaysian was preserved through my accent. Yea, i guess i have a slight identity crisis. My life is deeply enrooted in Australia however i still deem myself a Malaysian although the relevant documents to prove so has been obsolete 3 years ago. When relating to my Australian counterparts, i label myself a Malaysian. I would only divulge my Australian citizenship only if probed further. On the other hand, i relate myself as an Australian to my Malaysian friends when asked. Also i have developed that skill of assimilation. Where i could change my accent accordingly. Well, i only put on the Australian accent when i am at work. When i had no other choice but to conform for my own benefit. Otherwise i go off in the almost inconherent Malaysian tangent where my Caucasian friends go wide eyed and poke fun at me whenever listening to me speak.
ON THE OTHER HAND, people who have no reason whatsoever or would not have been in Australia sufficiently long enough to start jabbering in an Australian accent is just... Ridiculous. They have only been here for three or four years and not having a single Caucasian friend suddenly goes all weird and abnormal when an Aussy comes into the equation. They become someone else when they have absolutely no reason to behave that way. I literally cringe when they attempt a jab at the Australian accent. Literally, my skin shrivels and i go scarlett in embarassment. I believe that in their attempt to become more "understandable", they further enhanced the perception Aussies have that these Asian accents are as strange as strange can be. The Aussies probably did not suspect that they were trying to be more coherent to them in the first place. Stop it already!
So many times i just want to pull a friend aside and just tell them to keep it real.
And what about me? I do not hesitate to throw Malaysian slangs into their face as they have into mine. I do not take it personally. I think it is fun. So much an impact i have made that 4 years beyond my high school graduation, my high school mates would say "No la" "Aiya!" "Yes wat!" "Don like that la" to me. That's pretty cool.