Never has Lara Bingle's "Where the bloody hell are you?" tourism campaign been put to better use.
Audience members and at-home viewers were treated to a different sort of performance on Monday's episode of 'Australia's Got Talent' when 21-year-old contestant Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa recited a rousing poem tackling arguably one of this country's biggest and most shameful issues -- racism.
Asking the audience to click along if they identified with what she was saying, Khalsa's humorous and enlightening performance focused on the bigotry faced by the Sikh community -- from what it really means to be Australian ("Is it a Southern Cross Tattoo or wombat stew crumbled with a Dunkaroo?") to sharing more sombre anecdotes ("When a teen rips off my uncle’s turban, I’m an enraged flame of pain and shame and sorrow.")
All four judges -- Kelly Osbourne, Ian “Dicko” Dickson, Eddie Perfect and Sophie Monk -- gave Khalsa's performance a resounding thumbs up.
"There was anger there, but anger with heart and humour, and it just blew me away,” Dickson said.
Added Perfect: "I found myself getting quite emotional during that. The voices of bigotry and hatred in this country are so loud and noisy, and yeah, it’s going to piss people off probably, but stuff ‘em. Because this is something that needs to be heard and I’m really glad you’ve got prime-time to say it."
If you didn't catch the entirety of Khalsa's poem in the above video, make sure you take a moment to read it below.
“If you’re not in Australia, ‘where the bloody hell are ya?’ Remember the Bingle jingle, inviting the world to mix and mingle?
Where a fair go was your welcome mat, unless you’re of caramel descent and then ain’t nobody got time for that.
You see, rocking up for my first job at Coles, was like a scene from Border Patrol.
What makes you Australian?
Is it a Southern Cross Tattoo or wombat stew crumbled with a Dunkaroo?
Do you think of a time when Australia’s learnt to share and care and dare to wear its heart on its face, fully aware that most of us in this place are far from fair, but brown and black and slow to attack?
But quick to embrace a warm Australia.
I’m confused as to why, on Australia Day, when the night sky spews bigot bile, I’m left traumatised.
When a teen rips off my uncle’s turban, I’m an enraged flame of pain and shame and sorrow, for tomorrow when a hooning ute throws a rotten peach at my dad and screams ‘go home, ya bloody terrorist.’
I plead to you Lara , where the bloody hell are we?
My people, the Sikhs, came here in 1860 with camels and carts and courageous hearts and look at the maxi Taxi, we’re still driving and steering this country in offices and hospitals and even on stage.
So when people tell me and my family to go home to where we came from, I reply with a smile, tongue-in-cheek, ‘mate, we’ve been right at home for the past 150 years!’
I’m not the one that’s a freak, I’m fully Sikh.”