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Australian Culture And Identity Essay

2104 words - 9 pages

There are some common threads of argument linking together main aspects of how Australians see themselves and what they see as important in defining our culture and identity, there is still contention over the importance of issues of Australia's history, indigenous members and white European settlers and their impact on the indigenous population. Quite often, the Australian landscape is also given great prominence, especially when used in conjunction with the above aspects of Australian culture and identity. Four texts of different media all contain elements arguing for a common trend of ideas. Despite this, there are still some differing opinions of the messages that should be taken from ...view middle of the document...

Hence with the constant referrals and use of these symbols, it is evident that the Aboriginal's place much emphasis on the importance of the Australian land to their culture and wellbeing. "The evening star is shining, back to towards Milingimbi, and over the Wulamba people..." This star with its mythological spiritual savioural connotations is denotative to the Indigenous people of a heaven/dreamtime which is part of all the tribes, covering and shielding them, the song here is celebrating this star, these spirits and the power that the Australian landscape offers to the Aboriginal people. Furthermore, the fact that the narrator chooses to mention 3 different tribes "wulamba" and "Wonguri" and "Ngurulwulu" affirms that the star and the spirits of the land emblematize the universality of the land as a paramount part to the Australian culture, and the culture of the Aboriginals. Additionally, as the narrator calls attention to the star's descent: "That evening star, the lotus... It sinks there into the place of the white gum trees, at Milingimbi," again compounds the idea of the symbiotic relationship between the Indigenous people, and the land, as well as the notion that the star joins the land in its power to save, nurture and protect. Thus the poem, with its numerous mentions of the Aboriginals and the landscape, demonstrates one of the fundamental values of the importance of the landscape to the Australian community, and the nature of Australia's indigenous population.The next argument for examining Australian culture and identity comes from another of Judith Wright text, and presents quite a different perspective on a fairly similar subject. Two dreamtimes is a poem written by Wright in an undisclosed date. The main concern of the poem is addressing Australia's indigenous background and the feeling of regret and the recognition of what history has done, and sympathy and empathy to the Indigenous population of Australia. Landscape is again referred to frequently "over the desert of red sand," and "riding the cleared hills," again affirming Australia's attachment to its unique wild and natural state. The poem has the narrator talking familiarly with "Kath, my sister" to accentuate the idea of remorse for what has been done, and to be intimate and friendly to amend the past. The narrator feels sympathy for the Indigenous and shows this: "Arms over your breast folding, your sorrow in to hold it, you brought me to you in some way and came the rest to meet me," This presents the idea that the gulf between black aboriginals and whites has been closed through friendship and compassion, and women who are able to emphasize with them. The narrator shows acceptance and empathy for the damage that the history has inflicted, "if we are sisters, it's in this- our grief for a lost country, the place we dreamed in long ago, poisoned now and crumbling," This shows that we are able to realize the damage done, the effect of our mercenaries on the land and the...


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