Today I went to a Desert Nature Park. It was lovely to walk through the different trees and listen to and see all the amazing birds. They even had a nocturnal house where I saw some endangered species such as the Bilby. (Bilby are very cute!).
But as I was walking through the park by myself I noticed how much the white fellas were talking. They kept talking about what they’d have for lunch, the colour of the birds… and kept going and going about everything.
I don’t know why I noticed this so plainly. Perhaps it’s because I’m changing.
You see, I’ve been reflecting on white fella culture vs black fella culture and noticing the differences. And then I saw this book in the store:
“This is a book about culture, about white fella culture and about Aboriginal culture. Culture is more than songs, paintings and ceremonies. It is more than houses, clothes and tools. Culture is the way we think, the way we act, the way we feel about things.
We learn a lot of our culture when we are children. Our parents teach us by the way they act and by the things they say. They teach us how to fit into our own culture.
This book is not say white culture is better or Aboriginal culture is better. They are just different. Whether we are Aboriginal or white, we share many things in common, but our cultures still teach us to act differently and think differently.
This book was originally written for Aboriginal people to understand white culture. However, it has been used more by white people to understand Aboriginal culture. So the stories have been adapted to make them more useful to all readers, Aboriginal or white, and a section added on “good manners” in Aboriginal culture.”
In the new few blogs I’m going to share a few helpful things from this book that really helped me understand Aboriginal and white culture – the differences between them and what we can change slightly to make a stronger connection.
The theme of this particular blog is that white fellas tend to talk more than Aboriginals. For instance, in white culture people are not usually comfortable with silence and so they talk about everything and ask many questions – making sure silence doesn’t exist when they are together.
In Aboriginal culture it’s normal to sit quietly with others. The book is suggesting to “Learn to shift into low gear, without fidgeting or looking around but relaxing and just enjoy being with the group.”
Also, in Aboriginal culture being quiet in a group is a way to be alone. According to the book, “Aboriginal people do not usually like to be alone, but they do like to be left alone when they don’t feel like talking or interacting.”
So, you can sit in a group with Aboriginals with very little talking going on.
Can you imagine what it would be like for them have a white fella approach them and start asking questions. They consider that rude. 🙂 (I’ll mention more about how to approach Aboriginal groups in the next few blogs).
Today, at the nature park, I was sitting quietly amongst chattering tourists – I was alone, but with people.
I like that space. But boy can they talk!