Yolŋu Studies Livestream Lecture Series

Lecture 28: Education, learning who we are

Lecture link: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/2047566/events/1840804/videos/52367715

[Watched in the Baldessin Building I1.20, ANU, 6pm Wednesday, June 11th 2014]

In this lecture Ṉärrkama talks about the Yolŋu system of education.

"...Our education in Yolŋu culture, we never ask questions, we have never chosen what we want to be, what we want to learn [e.g.] whether I want to be a doctor, whether I want to be a leader, whether I want to be a painter, whether I want to be a singer - these things come up as you grow up and you start to discover who you are and what is your... talent what are you gifts ... "
"...[its] very very important that we must always listen and understand what another culture is about..."
"...songlines work together in a manner that doesn't override another..."
"... please ... we want you to protect this for us... if you see certain paintings somewhere else, then we put you on guard to say 'No, these paintings, this story belongs to this clan that I know of, you have taken it and are using it without permission. I must take it off you and take it back'"
"In our Yolŋu law, we take you in, we want to take you in, come through the ceremony, come to our sacred Ŋarra area as we want to take you in, but we don't ask for anything in return..."
"...the law, what the do's and don't are..."
"...and I will listen to you, and I will respect you, ... but you don't force me, give me so much because you want to overrule my culture, overrule my language."
"...when people talk about Intervention, when people talk about land leases, 99 year land lease, our way of life has never been like the way how the federal government is just rushing in and forcing us to hand over land, to sign up. But our way of life, it happens the other way around: we invite you, come and learn our ways first, for forty/fifty years until you are old enough, until you know how our system works, then we can swap over"
"... don't underestimate my understanding ..."
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