Frankly Speaking ...
- Robert M. Franklin (Posted from Australia)
Arrived in the city of Melbourne after a week in the Northern Territory of Australia. We were granted permission to enter the sacred indigenous lands and with local village guides taken into the mountains. We encountered their sacred spaces... before being able to discuss respectfully the conditions of people (especially how their young men are doing). Many Aboriginal males face great trouble here, some of it due to racism, some to their own fear and unwillingness to join mainstream society. Painfully familiar to hear of the numbers of young black men who go to prison. But, there are courageous local leaders like Tess Atie promoting indigenous entrepreneurship and tourism as alternatives to receiving welfare. So much for vegetarianism as we were graciously offered grilled kangaroo and crocodile (unlike chicken but tasty). Also ate red dirt scraped from enormous termite mounds (as a delicacy). We were led into mountains by a guide and friend to see and admire rock art (some from B.C.E., some a couple hundred years old). The indigenous people claim that visitors 'cannot know our people, stories or our history unless they befriend our land.' The land is breathtaking and home to the world's second oldest human culture isolated for thousands of years. Hours of flying later, Melbourne feels like the 'Chicago of the outback' with a great river, bustling streets and good food. Melbourne has one of the finest restaurants in the world known as Vue de Monde.
We have met members of the Stolen Generation, aboriginals who were taken from their families as children and placed in white households to work and to be nurtured. In 2008 Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologized for the injustice committed against aboriginal families.
- BLOG COMMENTS:
- Name of Sender: Harold Dean Trulear - Striking to read about the similarities between the situation of young males there and here. We should all be required to encounter sacred space before having the discussion. Gandhi encountered sacred space before a fast or an action. The Civil Rights workers encountered sacred space before a March. Every time the choir sings "the battle is the Lord's" we must move beyond individual trials to see the public issue, which also occurs in sacred space. Thanks for a timely reminder.