Here are 4 important education programs about the Coronavirus.
These programs are primarily in Yolŋu Matha and are available with English subtitles.
This is perfect for English speaking people involved with Yolŋu so you can listen together and have an informed conversation.
From WHY WARRIORS PTY LTD’s YouTube channel
Produced by Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra and Richard Trudgen
CORONAVIRUS 12: Why are Balanda so frightened of this virus? (with English subtitles)
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.
CORONAVIRUS 13: Ring a Ring a Rosie (with English subtitles)
In this program Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra and Richard Trudgen deal with more European history that’s helpful in understanding Coronavirus. They also look at the meaning behind the children’s song ‘Ring a Ring a Rosie’.
When Yolŋu elders pass away their relatives have a particular songline they sing to remind them of the event. Richard shares with Djiniyini one of the European songlines that comes from the 700-year-old plagues of Europe. It was taught to Yolŋu children in the Mission days and is often still taught today however the meaning of it is rarely explained.
The program then discusses the cultural habit of men wearing a flower in the top buttonhole of their coat. Richard explains it’s a custom that began in the days of the plague, as it was believed the smell of the flower would overcome others less desirable smells and hopefully stop them getting the “Black Death”.
Thank you to © Helix Animation 2020 for the animation in this program. All rights reserved.
CORONAVIRUS 14: Old Balanda culture – from villages to cities (with English subtitles)
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.
CORONAVIRUS 15: The discovery of germs (with English subtitles)
In this program Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra and Richard Trudgen talk about how germs were first discovered.
They also discuss that it took a long time after the discovery of germs for Balanda to believe they were connected to the disease and sickness they were experiencing.