so one bloke points to a black cockatoo and asks his mate:
his mate answers, Ninda-nda lirrarduma
so the bloke says Ninda-nda jijan wulunga-nya
and his mate says, Mandi, ngayi ngaba-nya. Yilunga-nya.
Good one, eh? This is what we (tried to) teach 20 teenagers today. Perhaps they learned something.
September 20, 2005
Hey everyone. Sorry i haven't blogged a decent post for ages. I haven't felt like doing it, so ... well... i haven't.
But today was such a big and special day that i'm springing back into action (and maybe I'll go back and fill in some of the past two months sometime too).
Today we had the official opening of the new extension and verandah of the Ngukurr Language Centre. It was really really great. JBJ and others had organised for there to be bunggul - traditional dancing - for the event. So late afternoon, people gathered, the dancers came, the songman was there and the bambu player too (didjeridu man), it all came together in it's laboured and deliberate way. Our new boss is out here for the opening, she's only six weeks into the job, but a lot of people here know her, they all knew her dad and she lived here for a while when she was a little girl. So the bunggul mob (dancing, singing, playing music (clapsticks and didj) slowly escorted her around the building, danced for her and finally led her up the steps to officially open the verandah.
dammit, i just realised there's no way words can do the event any justice. for me though, it was fantastic. nothing like this has happened at language centre before. to me it shows that the community is really getting behind what we're doing here. all the language centre mob were chipping in and helping and we're all proud of what we've got here. i've posted one photo to give you a bit of idea, but still, you can't hear what it sounded like. in the photo, our new boss and my mami R, who works here at Ngukurr Language Centre, are out front and the bunggul mob are following them. There at the back of the language centre, where the new extension is.
after the opening part, our chairperson and our new boss said a few quick words, then the chairperson announced that I was going to read a story in Marra language. We'd only just written it yesterday and there I was reading this story for about 50 people, half locals, half white people. Hehe... everyone seemed to enjoy it. I think they're proud of the fact that there's a munanga here learning their language. Keep in mind, there's probably only about 15 people in the world who can speak Marra fluently, so it really is something special that things like this can happen.
Ah, anyway, we had a big bbq after and I've had a long, exhausting and fantastic day.
And i've only been back in Ngukurr for 9 days. How far away my two months off seems already!!