Celebrating NAIDOC Week

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It’s a special time around July each year when we celebrate NAIDOC Week around Australia – NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’, who would organise the events for this week of celebration but has since become the name of the week itself.
From July 6-13, 2014 all Australians come together to take part in activities to celebrate and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The NAIDOC website offers a range of suggestions to help you come up with ideas to join in the celebration of Australia’s Indigenous culture. Here are a few of our favourites:

  • Display Indigenous posters around your class room
  • Invite local Indigenous elders to speak at your school or workplace.
  • Listen to Indigenous music.
  • Research the traditional Indigenous owners of your area.
  • Study Aboriginal arts and crafts.
  • Read a Dreamtime story.
  • Create your own Aboriginal art.
  • Visit local Indigenous sites of significance or interest.
  • Learn the meanings of local or national Aboriginal place names.
  • Invite Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander dancers to perform.

The discussion of NAIDOC and Aboriginal culture fits well with our previous blog about music and its benefits, as song, music and dance are at the heart of Indigenous culture. Song is seen as a means of expression, along with the art of performance and dance to tell a story. They are so important to Aboriginal people and often are at the core of special ceremonies, often adding very special significance to the music itself.
It is interesting to note that while we often see music, art, performance, dance and storytelling as separate things, the Aboriginal viewpoint sees them as a whole. And what a wonderful perspective that is to have! In some instances, Aboriginal elders may sing and paint the story as they sing about it. The stories and music will often focus on community, culture and their relationship with the land.
Read more about Australia’s Indigenous ceremonies, Indigenous performers and NAIDOC Week via these useful links:
http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/austn-indigenous-ceremony
http://australianmuseum.net.au/Indigenous-Australia/
http://aboriginalart.com.au/culture/trade.html

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