Learning About Culture
During term 1, two Stage 1 EAL Foundation classes interviewed a special guest, Uncle Tamaru, a Kaurna elder. He has many jobs, including running his company "Deadly Mob". He was able to join us on Harmony Day, and see all of the wonderful contributions of our students.
Our purpose was to find out information about someone from another culture. We were thrilled to be able to meet Uncle Tamaru. As a Kaurna elder he knows a lot about Kaurna land, the land we live on, and the proud culture of the Kaurna people. Uncle Tamaru welcomed us to his land and told us one of the most important things in Kaurna culture is to show respect.
Uncle Tamaru explained about how he respected us, and helped us understand how we could show respect to him. One of the ways is learning about Kaurna language and culture. We learnt that we can greet people using "Niina Marni", and say "Ngaitalya" to show our respect. When we see an Aboriginal person, we can call them "Aunty" and "Uncle" to be polite and respectful.
Our classes worked very hard to prepare for the interview, researching what kind of questions they should ask, what kind of body language they should use, and how they could gain as much information as possible. They used many open questions, which Uncle Tamaru answered thoughtfully. The students worked hard to show polite, respectful body language and took notes so they could remember the key findings.
The students really valued Uncle Tamaru's knowledge. For Jayson, the most interesting thing was hearing about the special smoking ceremonies, using eucalyptus to purify people, land and belongings. For Asef, he thought it was important to understand how the land we live on in Adelaide is the traditional land of the Kaurna people, and their connection to the land remains strong today.
Rashid was fascinated to learn that while he may see Aboriginal people in Adelaide city, they may not be Kaurna people; and that there were many different Aboriginal cultural groups in South Australia. Victor enjoyed learning some Kaurna language, and discussing how it translates into English, and Nihmo was interested to learn about Aboriginal celebrations like NAIDOC week, and how Aboriginal cultures can be celebrated and shared.
We would like to thank Uncle Tamaru for agreeing to be interviewed, and for sharing some of his language, culture and knowledge about his land with us.