Multinational, Multilingual, Multicultural
Jan 17, 2009
Sep 11, 2009
So I moved onto the center of Australia and really feel that now Ive experienced Australia. You really start to apprieciate how vast this country is as you are driving for hours and hours through flat bush as far as you can see. Villages and towns pop up from nowhere, and any deviation in the landscape, i.e rocks, are really prominent and on the tourist route. You can understand why these places are all so important and sacred to the aboriginals - they are easy places to describe in order to meet people as they are so different from the surrounding area.I travelled down from Darwin to Alice Springs, stopping off at several places along the way, seeing the sights and learning a bit more about the aboriginals.At Edith falls we spent a happy hour or so swimming in the rock pools, before going over to Katherine gorge, this area belongs to Jawoyn aboriginal group and we learned a bit more about their culture and their creation/dreamtime beliefs. They believe the gorge was created by a rainbow serpent and the water came from another spiritual ancestor carrying water, which was spilt when he was killed by a bird.We stopped off at Tennant Creek and were treated to a musical performance by several aboriginal men. This project has been set up to give them some employment and employs 10 or so men from 4 different tribes. It was a really good chance to chat to them, as often the aboriginals are very shy, but these guys were really friendly and up for questions, participation and photos!!!Then it was onto Daly Creek, a bizzare quirky little place with an interesting pub filled with photos and memorabilia from previous punters! (including bras, flip flops and flags!) Here we also had a local tour guide who showed us the Post Office slash Police Station and the jail, he also locked us in the jail and temporarily stole my camera, but as he was a rather cute and funny 8 year old we let him off!!! He actually was really good, combining knowledge, humour and maturity way beyond that of the average 8 yr old, he definately deserved a dollar or 2 that we each gave him for his trouble!Then it was onto the Devils Marbles, an area of over 2 million granite balls piled up on each other, certainly a place for a bit of climbing and lots of photo opportunities!On this trip I learnt more about the Aboriginals, there were about 250 different tribes, all with a different language and different creation beliefs. Although these all have a similar basis in that supernatural ancestors with animal and human traits created the earth. Their stories say not only how the land was formed but also lay down the laws for how to treat others, animals and the land. Many of these stories are hidden to the public as they are sacred and only told to certain members of the tribe when they come of age or prove themselves. However, this means that a lot of the culture has been lost and what is left needs to be preserved, which is one aspect of the Tennant Creek musical group, who go out into the bush to record different tribes stories and songs.For the first time on this trip I was the only English person, there were Dutch, Danes, Italians, Germans and Japanese people on the tour, and the guide was Australian. Also while we were on the trip it was the Neatherlands Queens Day which we celebrated by decorating the bus orange (their national colour). So now I have celebrated Australia day in Nicaragua, St Patricks Day in New Zealand, and now The Queens Day in Australia - all of this is why I came travelling, to learn and understand a bit more about different countries and cultures, and not just the ones Im visiting it seems!!!