Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra and Richard Trudgen talk about some of the European history of disease.
Djiniyini opens the program by asking, “Why are Balanda so frightened of this disease”? Richard explains how the Black Death plagues in Europe 700 years ago killed between 75 and 200 million people. They dialogue about how Balanda were so frightened then because they weren’t sure what was causing the disease and deaths. Europeans thought it was sorcery, some sort of spiritual event, or could possibly have been coming from the smell.
Djiniyini explains that’s what Yolŋu think now. He says people are really confused, and don’t understand what a virus actually is. So they blame other people for doing sorcery.
It’s mentioned that this kind of European history is needed for people like Yolŋu to be on the same page as mainstream Australians. Otherwise the government’s short scripted ‘what to do’ messages make little sense.
The traditional worldview of Yolŋu means they want in-depth, science-based information in order to understand any new topic. 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.