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Navodila

Our friends from Class 8 work on an intercultural project in order to learn as much as possible about people from different cultures. They have found an interview with an Aboriginal girl called Lowanna. Read it together with them. Prevod

Interview with an Aboriginal girl

Tell us a little bit about yourself, please.
My name is Lowanna. I am seventeen years old. I live with my parents and my sister Allira in a small village in the outback. I belong to the people of Anangu. White people call us Aborigines.

Do you know much about your culture and your history?
I think I do. When I was smaller, my grandmother used to tell me stories and sing songs of my people. These stories and songs have passed from generation to generation. I am going to pass them on to my children and grandchildren one day. Our history, our secrets, and our dreams are told in them.

Are the Aborigines an old people? Where did they come from?
White people say that we arrived to Australia between 40,000 to 60,000 years ago. But this is not true. We believe we are much older than that. At the beginning of time, supernatural beings came out of the Earth and took form of humans, kangaroos, lizards, snakes, and birds. They travelled around the empty Earth and created this world and everything in it. They gave birth to the first Aboriginal people. This time is called Dreamtime.

How did your ancestors live?
For thousands of years, my people lived in the same way. We walked through the outback. The land gave us everything we needed – the food, the water, the wood to make boomerangs, the plants to make medicine. It gave us shelter. We made everything we needed. The elders had the knowledge how to survive. They passed it on to their children. We knew that we were part of nature, just as plants and animals were. We didn’t change our land. We respected and loved it.

How did your life change after the white people came?
When white people came to Australia, everything changed, in a bad way. The first ships came in 1788. Many of our people died of the diseases they had brought with them and we lost much of our land. Many of our people were killed. We could no longer live like in the old times. Then white people took thousands of our children from their families and put to foster homes and to missions. This way they tried to destroy our culture. This went on between 1871 and 1975.

Where do Aboriginal people live today?
Today there are about 400,000 Aborigines in Australia. A few thousands live in the outback. They live a simple life and still go on walkabouts. But life is very different now.  Most of the people of Anangu live in towns and cities. We buy our food in shops. We watch television and use computers. Children speak English, go to school, do their homework and listen to music. But many Aboriginal people are very poor. Many haven’t got a job or a good education.

What is your wish for the Anangu, your people?
I think that the Australian politicians should try to correct the mistakes that they made in the past. They have taken our world from us. They should make us a part of theirs. They should help Aboriginal children get a better education and better jobs. This is what I wish for the Anangu, a better life for everyone.

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