Video #1 COVID-19: Introduction to Coronavirus

Mr C. Yunipingu and Richard Trudgen discuss the Coronavirus. Yolngu hear it’s coming to their communities but they’re not sure what it’s about. This is the first of many programs on this subject that will share information as it’s updated about the Coronavirus, including its spread and control.

Please share with your Yolngu friends and family.

Yolngu Matha language is spoken by the Indigenous peoples of North East Arnhem Land, Australia. Our aim is to deliver accurate and in-depth information on a wide array of subjects to Yolngu in their Original Australian language.

The traditional worldview of Yolŋu means they want in-depth, science-based information in order to understand any new topic. This is what Yolŋu call the “dhuḏi-dhäwu” – the deep true story. This full series of videos attempts to answer some of their questions from a Yolŋu worldview, using their linguistic construction of knowledge.

Commonly asked Yolŋu questions about COVID-19 include understanding what a virus is, where it comes from (wäŋa), its shape/size/colour (ganda’), and how it is transmitted, reproduces and causes sickness (gakal).

Also in some communities, disease and sickness are thought to be caused by some form of sorcery, spiritual event or sickness country in the same way Europeans did before germs were discovered (for example the word “influenza” has its origins in “influence of the stars”).

Although germ theory is widely known and understood throughout most of mainstream Australia it has never been properly explained to most Yolŋu people.

This full series of videos attempts to answer some of those questions from a Yolŋu worldview using their linguistic construction of knowledge.

Hardwords discussed