I received the message below on another website and have transferred it here. Thanks, Dinah, for your honesty and the clear way you’ve explained the issue. That has stimulated us to have a think about what we’ve been saying and why. Here is what Dinah had to say.
You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!
It’s an irrefutable truth in my thinking (and I am trying to get rid of it) that we always assume other people understand what we’re talking about. That is, until they tell us they don’t. The website Dinah was referring to has some information like Aussie Yarns, but it is limited . Anyway, as I began to tell Dinah that the website she was on (www.hidingplacenovel.com) will shut down in a few weeks, and that a new one has been established, I realised her comment went far deeper. Below is a summary of my response on the other website about what I am attempting to explain through my fictional writing.
Hi, Dinah, and thanks for taking to the time to let us know about the presentation and the fact that things are hard to understand. This website (meaning www.hidingplacenovel.com) shuts down in a few weeks, but we have a new one already operating at http://aussieyarns.com which we think is much better. If you go to that site, there are items under Home, Novels, Short Stories and Blogs that will demonstrate a range of ideas.
Now we trust what follows helps your understanding of our basic theme in all our output. And it’s all not complex. It just says that different cultures aren’t right or wrong, better or worse, or superior or inferior. They are just are. Our definition of culture is as follows: It’s the way we do things around here. So cultures will always differ from each other. And each has a set of values that keep it operating and alive. If those values are weakened or fade , the culture will die. This has been happening in Australia with Aboriginal cultures for over 200 years and if we (both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people) value different cultures and what can be learned from the difference, then we need to find ways for cultures to survive, and do it by walking and working together. Some people say, “Let Aboriginal cultures die, they are of no value in the modern age. So here are two questions. The first is, “What if someone said to you, let non-Aboriginal cultures die?” How would you feel about letting go of all the values that make you what you are? Different values aren’t and never have been a major problem. The problem has been, and remains, the inability of people to find ways to come together and work together without expecting differences in culture to be eradicated, overridden, suppressed, or expunged. The other question we would ask is, “What is the predicted life-cycle of non-Aboriginal cultures and what will happen when that cycle concludes?” Can you survive without the creature comforts of house, water supply, electricity, supermarket, and the mod-cons of this day and age? In summary, look at and try to learn from different cultures. Don’t try to join them, but watch, listen and learn, and as you do, you may become a teacher of the virtues of your culture, in ways that don’t expect other cultures to change.
We hope that helps as you try to understand the stories and content in the new website, and if you’re from a country outside Australia, think of your Indigenous people and ask the same questions about cultural difference. Have a great time thinking about all this and as we said, let us know what you think of the updated, new website.