Inherent in our sense of belonging to a group, a place or a culture is an understanding of the world, of others and of ourselves. At the same time, a sense of belonging is also fostered by others’ understanding and acceptance of us. These themes are explored in the novel “The China Coin”, written by Alan Baillie, and the film “Billy Elliot” by Stephen Daldry as well as ‘Looking for Alibrandi” by Kate Woods.

In the novel, “The China Coin”, a Eurasian girl travels to her mother’s country in search of the other half of a broken coin, but through her experiences comes to richer understanding of her ethnicity and her family and herself, and in doing so broadens her sense of belonging in the world. In the beginning of Leah’s journey to China, we can feel her unhappiness and see that she does not feel a sense of belonging to china. She feels alienated towards China as she identifies herself solely as an Australian and not as a Chinese, as her internal monologue reveals “Couldn’t the woman see? She was not Chinese, not even ABC-Australian born Chinese” the use of repetition and emotive language “I hate it, I hate China” emphasizes Leah’s negative attitude towards China, as well as trivialized understanding of it.

Gradually Leah develops a deeper connection with her mother and she begins thinking of her identity and her Chinese background. “For the first time Leah was thinking of Joan’s family as her family. Joan’s grandfather was her great grandfather, Joan’s father was her grandfather” the use of the third person describes Leah’s evolving feelings towards her family and China. Through her connection to her family, she come to better understand her own identity, and begins to find a place for China within it.

Leah’s changing perspective towards China and her place within it is emphasized by the use of italics, “ this time she really want to be part of the family,” showing she now felt that she belonged in China, within the comfort and security of the family. Leah...