COVID-19 (Video No.14) Old Balanda culture - from villages to cities

In this program Djiniyini and Richard talk more about the Balanda (European) history, and what happened when Balanda left their villages/estates and started moving into big cities. In the transition Balanda changed many cultural things.

For example, on their homeland estates they had plenty of land for toileting and they had small lakes and streams to bathe in.

However when they moved into the city they built houses very close together like they were still living on their estates, even though other things changed. The program discusses how Balanda used to throw the contents of their bed pots out onto the street and that many Balanda now only bathed once a year.

This is a similar history as Yolŋu now experience. When they lived on their homeland estates, Yolŋu would walk off into the bush privately to go to the toilet. They would also swim in the rivers and billabongs across their estate on a daily basis.

However when they moved into the missions and now the central communities things like toilets and places to wash are often in short supply.

Again this history is important for Yolŋu to understand why mainstream Western society places high value on certain cultural activities around hygiene.

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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.

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