Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Young and free...maybe a little indebted

Most people seem to be getting that to sing (as you do) our national anthem and rejoice that we are 'young and free' is yet another example of simply ignoring any idea that we have an indigenous culture. A culture which, depending on your reckoning, is 40 probably 60 and maybe even 100 thousand years old.
I am not entirely happy with the description that it is the longest continuing culture in the world, (though the case can be made and I am open to being convinced). That, I think, begs the question about whether Australian aboriginal culture has the consistency for such a period that would mean there is anything more than the tenuous link that we live on an island and so it must be 'continuing' in that sense.
But that there has been art, music, story, familial structure, aetiological mythology,is abundantly clear.
Mabo and Wik articulated from a legal point of view that as far as this country is concerned it was not an uninhabited wasteland just wasting for the young and free to some and rape it.

On this Australia Day remember we are both young and free, and also old and deep

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