Life is better than death. Love; greater than either…


13th February 2008
13 February, 2008, 10:09 am
Filed under: Sorry Day

As ‘Sorry Day’ turns into reality today, watching the whole fiesta around it is pretty emotional. Rarely do we see a government so genuine in offering something so contrary to their ‘professionalism’ or their want of being seen as ‘always right’. Opening the 42nd session of the Australian Parliament with an Aboriginal ‘welcome to country’ ceremony features the first time ‘white Australia’ has ever done that.

Kevin Rudd did a one-two by apologizing on the second day of parliament sitting. It’s a big deal cause it deals with the strong-arm tactics of previous governments (I think it was in between preWW1 and post WWII) in imposing Western culture on Aboriginal children in camps. These children were forcefully taken from their families; their mothers in particular.

I think they were given Western surnames too (judging from the interviews of Stolen Generation members) and basically cut off from their culture and their family, forced to assimilate into ‘white’ culture. Some of them, if they remember, or if they really want to, found their parents after a long while. For one of them, Marjorie Woodrow, it took 68 years.

So with all this background information, the current government, together with the opposition, in what they call a bipartisan move, took symbolic and extremely significant moves in and out of parliament to ‘kiss and make-up’ so to say with certain representatives of the Aboriginal community.

But putting myself into a stolen child’s shoes, I believe that I would have been pretty lonely. Aged about 8 or 9, I would have flashbacks of my Aboriginal parents but would have no clue about learning this new language and wearing clothes which look so ridiculous. I would then have new parents… and new siblings. I would ask my parents why do I look so different from my brothers and sisters? I would go to school, ask the same thing… Why do I look so different? I would learn history in school and identify with the pictures in the books and the same urges I have in me to do the same…

I would be teased in school, run home to my parents. Dazed, confused, I look into the mirror. Every day, I ask myself. I’ll run away from home, but where do I run to? There are no Aboriginal families down the street in my suburb. I’ll just have to survive… till the day I reconcile what I am to who I am…

God bless!

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