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Whaling dispute

Shall we talk about whales and whaling? (2)

Would I be able to stand in the middle?

 

It was around midnight on 18 February 2010.  I was squeezed into a CityRail train from Homebush heading for Sydney Central Station.  Luckily, I secured a seat.  Then, I heard a voice saying “were you at the concert?”  It was from a guy who got a seat next to me.  “Where could I be in the middle of the night at the Sydney Olympic Park and not being at THE concert?” was my first thought, but I replied politely, “yes, sure”.  Then the answer was followed by a couple of more questions; “did you enjoy?” and “when did you get to know the band?”  When did I get to know them?  What a question!  “I know them almost from the very beginning.”  

 

Shall we talk about whales and whaling?

Whaling has been a touchy issue between Australians and Japanese for a while. Since being appointed to my current position as an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow in May 2010, I have been asked a number of times by my Australian colleagues and friends “what’s your research topic?”  And every time, I seem to need to pause and grin a bit and say “whaling”.  My Aussie friends will normally then hold their breath for a second, slightly stare at me and say “agh … that’s interesting.”  What is this nervousness that exists when referring to whaling in this country?

 

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