Last week we had a big week in town (Katherine). We had two days with Batchelor and then three days with the Education Department for a Language Revitalisation Workshop.
One of the highlights was working with Batchelor's linguistics students. They were in Katherine for a week-long workshop on Pidgins and Creoles. Their lecturer approached us to present something about the creole spoken at Ngukurr so we did a three hour session with them which was enjoyed by everyone.
Usmob really enjoyed meeting the linguistics students and finding out where they’re from. They came from all over: Torres Strait, Desert, Western NSW, Victoria, Palm Island and came from different backgrounds (but all Indigenous). And they really enjoyed meeting the guys from Ngukurr and learning a bit about Kriol. It was just one of those lovely sharing experiences, but also included lots of discussion, opining and more.
I was reflecting on why I enjoyed the session with them so much. One reason was that being linguistics students, I could use linguistics terms and be understood. Normally, I have to explain what a pronoun is, let alone more tricky things like the difference between a transitive and intransitive verb – but these guys knew it straight away which was lovely.
But it wasn’t til later that night I realised the main reason I enjoyed working with that mob. Because they’re linguists (or learning to be linguists) whose goal is the same as ours here at Ngukurr: the betterment of Indigenous languages and people. And it was comforting and refreshing. It was just so nice to be teaching like-minded people! And they warmed my heart to see what they’re learning and doing. I wish them all the best.