I am one of the many German students studying abroad. I am one of the people who love travelling. I can't sit still, I always have to do stuff. I am curious, always chasing for stories. Stay here for a while and be part of my respaced world

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The storyteller

Yesterday I went to the outskirts of Sydney. The so called 'Mount Druitt' area is also sometimes referred to a 'shithole', which is meant to express that a lot of migrants and socially weak situated people live there and a lot of crime, which involves drug and alcohol, takes place. The Mount Druitt area is also Aboriginal territory. The city of Blacktown in the Mount Druitt area is home to the largest Aboriginal population of any suburb in New South Wales (NSW is the state Sydney belongs to). My classmate confessed that if you want to meet an aborigine, you usually have to drive outside to the suburbs.

Me and my group meant to talk to some inhabitants of the Mount Druitt area and I got very lucky, because I met a guy who was part of the Aboriginal Housing Advisory Board who said
"I am a storyteller"

Instead of telling us about public housing in NSW he looked at me, threw a tiny plastic bag which included a pair of earrings on the table, and said 'Do you want them? I made them. It's kindney. You can have them'.

Of course I didn't say no. He went on with his speech and told us about aboriginal culture and the stories of the dreaming. The stories of the dreaming explain the history of the land and how to live. Storytelling is an integral part of life for Indigenous Australians, thus the storyteller has an important role in the aboriginal society. He explained that there was a time when TV and media weren't needed at all because the storyteller fullfilled this position. But now, people didn't know how to behave anymore, because there were no rules - he didn't consider the rules of law as effective.

Ok, the guy was a bit confusing to talk to, he had almost no teeth and I could hardly understand his dialect. However, what I kept in mind was that he mentioned another value of aboriginal storytelling:

'In order to find your way you have to know where you came from. Without knowing about your own history you don't know where to go.'

It made me think about myself… I want to be a storyteller, I want to be a journalist, I wanna tell people's stories. But do I know my story?

When I travel people often ask me about Germany. I often don't know what to answer to their questions. Sometimes I think I know more about other countries than about Germany and about my family background. I never considered it to be important. But this encounter with the storyteller kinda moved me. I think he's right, especially in the last two years I got to know how much it matters how and where you were raised.

My goal for 2012 : "Getting to know my story"

Tell me: Do you know your story?

The storyteller


misswhite said...

uhhhh - respaced girl becomes a philosopher. what about a journey to Breslau with your dad?

Franzi said...

pfff i've always been a (wanna-be) philopher (see friday thoughts ;) )
well actually... the breslau idea does sound interesting! will think about it. maybe i can take my nephew with me?

Tara said...

Oh yeah, I know my story. Sometimes I think I know it TOO well.

Franzi said...

hey Tara! That sounds interesting! Is there a short version of your story?;)

Tara said...

Trust me, I *wish* there was a short version! Bit by bit I'm trying to reveal it in my blog but you know how that goes...

Franzi said...

oh, i didn't know about your second blog!

like this posting:

you just got a new follower :)

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