Celebrating rich heritage

KATHMANDU: Every year in July, NAIDOC week is organised to celebrate the rich history, culture and achievements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the original inhabitants of Australia. Originally named as National Aborigines’ and Islanders Day Observance Committee, the event has been extended to a week and is celebrated not only all over Australia, but also in Australian embassies all over the world. The theme for this year is ‘Advance Australia Fair’, which Australian Ambassador Graeme Lade said is also the title of the Australian national anthem.

To mark this very event, Ambassador Lade had organised a special screening of a short film titled Crocodile Dreaming on July 11. Ambassador Lade said, “In reflecting on the many proud achievements of the indigenous communities during NAIDOC week, it is important to look at addressing the gap between the indigenous and non-indigenous communities in areas such as life expectancy, child mortality and educational achievement and employment opportunities. The Australian government is working hard to address these issues.”

He also talked about his personal experience and exposure to the traditions of these original inhabitants of Australia.

Aborigines refer dreaming to their Totemic Being or an incident from the dreamtime. The movie is about two estranged brothers who need to placate the crocodile spirit because their mother’s Totem was a crocodile.

The movie also addresses the present issue of Aboriginal people where they are trying to find a balance between preserving their traditions and also adjusting to urban lifestyle.

Various personalities related to filmmaking were present at the screening.