Writing on the Wall: A Wog on Money


It is fair to say that in wog culture, money makes our world go round. You’ve heard the term “money can’t buy happiness”. Well that doesn’t apply to my communities hard earned bills stuffed into couch chairs and hidden behind mysterious bookcases. Just kidding. The truth is, we value what can bring us the ability to strengthen the prosperity of our families. We want to enable our future generations to grow in a world that has already been set up for them – a better one than we’ve known. 

If you don’t know already, a ‘wog’ is defined by one thing: angry white Anglo-Saxon Australians during the immigration boom in the 1950’s and 60’s. Any Mediterranean person who travelled months via an over-crowded hygienically poor ship from the region to Australia in search of a better life were derogatorily termed a ‘wog’. The term was supposed to refer to some kind of lack in intelligence because… we came from a different place? Truth is that white Anglo-Saxon Australians were so incredibly frightened by the idea of foreign competition on ‘their’ own land. Which, let’s remember, was never theirs to begin with! Sorry to say, but we came, we saw, and we conquered – hard. Now everyone is into our culture, from food (for obvious reasons – don’t give us none of that bullshit boiled dinners) to our fashion sense to our die-hard appreciation for the finer things in life, aka wine and deli meats. Now, wog is a genuinely good thing to be called. 

That’s not to say that wog’s have dealt with such horrific immigration experiences that we now trust no one. We trust a few, and usually those within our own community. See the thing is, when someone tells you, your culture is worthless, your faith is broken, and your experiences are nothing – that equates to a pretty fractured identity. One that brings with it guilt and shame through generations. Having to learn a new language with no assistance while maintaining a homelife, a family, a business and countless jobs is no small feat. The depth of sadness and equal joy in having faced abuse of all kinds and working your ass off everyday of your life in a land of opportunity, that’s not equal, but has offered you a home, is mind altering. To this day, my grandparents do not talk about the negative experiences of their early decades here in Australia. 

When you bring only a suitcase and the clothes on your back with you to a new country, where you don’t have a place to go or a community to reach, you are truly alone. It’s this baseness, of being stripped back to nothing and starting a whole new life to the one you’ve known – that is extremely humbling. That is why we are so tied to our money. It is the thing that has stood in our way and at the same time carried us from that nothingness into a world of opportunity. 

It’s not a secret that wogs tend to be quite selective with their purchases. That’s why most of the property market is dominated by us. Hey, we value stability. That’s why you probably won’t see many wog’s high rolling at the casino, or taking on the stock market. That is a game of chance we don’t play. Yet, we do spend up big on those around us, friends and family alike. The value we place on experiences is immense. Knowledge is power and a wog always likes to be in control of it. So we research… and research… and research some more. We don’t make split second decisions on things that matter. If history has taught us anything it is to keep your mouth shut until you know you’re right. Then let the haters try to fight back. Yeah it’s not what you get told in school, but it’s what we’ve been taught our entire lives! 

For anyone who has had the experience of being an immigrant as a wog or not, I am in awe of you. For me, unpacking my culture and history will always be moulded by the experiences of immigration, of loss and gain, of strength and power. The only way to know you’ve made it is to look back. Hold on to la dolce vita (the good life) and as Sophia Loren says, “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti”.