August 28, 2006

bush trip!

Numerous meetings. Lots of 'community consultation'. Permission forms. Buying food, fruit n veg, camping gear in Katherine. Hiring a troopy from Darwin... I'm exhausted and the trip hasn't even started yet.

We're going on a big bush trip tomorrow. 4 days and 3 nights at a place called Towns River. There'll be about 30 of us in 4 troop carriers. It's pretty huge. I've been left with most of the organising (my main co-organiser recently became a widower and hasn't been working) and I'm buggered already. My situation hasn't been helped by being on the verge of anxiety attacks for the past week because I've been irrationally fearing the worst (like no one will come, everyone will starve and complain, we'll get lost, everyone will have a terrible time etc. etc.)

But I'm looking forward to it now. And so I should, I've put lots of work into it. The trip is for Marra people. It's for old people to go to Marra country with young people to teach them about country, culture and language. It should be good. My job is also to document the trip (audio, video) and I'm sure it'll be great. I'll be the only munanga too, which isn't too unusual, but being out bush for most of the week will be different. I think it'll be a bonding experience and I'm sure I'll learn lots. And I'm sure I'll be absolutely exhausted when we come back on Friday. (Which is when I have to work out how to get the rental troopy back to Darwin for Saturday morning!)

August 15, 2006

What census?

Was there a census last week? If there was, us mob at Ngukurr know nothing about it.

I know thismob here already get a pretty raw deal but no census? I thought they had a referendum about that in 1967 making it illegal to leave Aboriginal people out of the census.

John Howard, your government is shit.

August 03, 2006

to English

I don't like discussing the various 'curiosities' of Kriol because historically creoles are plagued by being noticed for the 'cute' things they do with the superstrate language. Or in otherwords, creoles are always mocked for being 'cute' or 'bastardised' versions of their derivative languages, and not appreciated in their own right.

But I noticed something great about Kriol today. You can use 'English' as a verb, meaning to speak to someone with English.

Today my wawa A was outside talking away to two munanga he used to work with and his wife comes in and says, 'yu wawa jeya ingglishbat' (translation: Your brother is there 'englishing'). She was giggling about it, because her husband's English isn't all that flash, but he was there having a good old yarn to these guys.

After I heard that, I realised I'd heard it before. I remember my banji telling about a white girl being interested in him, but he couldn't go talk to her "dumaji im mait Ingglish-ingglish na mi" (translation: because she might English-English to me).

It's interesting... to 'Ingglish' is more than to just speak English, it also incorporates the aspect of making Aboriginal people step outside their linguistic and cultural comfort zone.