Kusuma|Hillsborough

“To be a woman in 2017 is a lot for me. I work. I have family. I overcome all the difficulties with the bringing up of children, but it is a challenge to work fulltime and raise four kids, and most of the time it is taken for granted.

Nobody recognised how much pain I went through while I was raising the kids and being at the workplace. I mean I work hard, and it’s very difficult to make an impression where my voice is heard. To be a man… I mean, I’m a Sri Lankan which is like Indian culture, where it is good for the man.

In European cultures men are equally sharing the workload at home, and also taking care of the children, but in my culture it’s mostly on the female. It’s expected that women do everything, but nowadays, especially in New Zealand, I can see men are taking part. Even my son is helping his wife very much with the housework. It’s good. In the workplace actually, it is my understanding that men always face their worries and they are in front; they are always on the top.

On diversity…

In New Zealand it is really good, because people embrace us. There is not much difference that I can feel, but where I live there are mostly Europeans around me. I mean New Zealanders. We’ve been neighbours for 15 years now. I can’t see much relationship with the neighbours, but they are very good neighbours. We have not got a close relationship other than saying good morning or hello. That’s the place I feel a little bit out of place. Sometimes I feel that it’s better to have a close relationships, but it’s alright.

If I think about them we are different, so they might feel that we are different. But these people are young people, there’s maybe some difference with the age also. If they were older people then they might have a good relationship with us. In fact, I had older neighbours before, and we used to have a really good relationship. She comes for tea with me, or I’ll go there to have tea with her.”

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