Sunday, May 06, 2007

Getting to know the Latin neighbours

The article 'Getting to know the Latin neighbours' has been uploaded here.


David J said...

Well I can't say I was able to read the whole article completely. However I did get through the majority of it and felt some connection with what you are saying.
I have not had much Latin influence in my life but that which I have has altered my perspective and opened doors of perception that my anglo heritage would never have.
About 10 years ago I read 100 Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It altered my brain for ever! Other influences include the film Frida and the music that accompanied it. The film Motorcycle Diaries gave some great insight into the diversity of culture and ethnicity that can be united in one single identity that is inclusive of all. This to me showed that it is possible for colonizers and indigenous people to adapt and converge with an emerging shared identity.
I have attempted Latin dancing and enjoy the rhythms it produces, it's unfortunate that I have no ability in this area!
The experience you describe in your article is something that I have only come close to understanding since I've lived in the Northern Territory. The cultural mix here in Darwin and I believe in The Kimberly region is quite diverse and encompasses many of the creative aspects of indigenous culture. There is an ethnic convergence here that is like no other I've seen in Australia. Mixed racial marriages are quite normal and with this comes more sharing and less clash of cultural identity although many problems still exist. These may be due to the persistence of inequality, drug and alcohol problems and most of all lack of love and guidance for young people.
Although distance has caused difficulty for us as a country I believe Darwin must have established it's own identity, independent of colonial ties quite early on. When the rest of Australia had kicked out the Chinese, there remained a strong and productive community in Darwin.
Although Darwin maintained all the marks of a colonial town it seems to have thrived on it's connection to Asian and indigenous cultures despite the efforts of those who have opposed this view.
I think in Darwin you might find that creole culture that has absorbed some of the creative influences of all its parts that appears to be in the Latin American Persona.

Kevin Murray said...

Thanks for this comment David. It's heartening to think there might be this kind of room for cultural dialogue in Australian cities, like Darwin. Let's hope the creole cultures in Austalia blossom.