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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 108

Australia celebrates indigenous culture

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Colombo, 11 July, ( Australia celebrates its indigenous heritage this week (8-15 July) in annual National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week celebrations.

NAIDOC Week is the outcome of a long history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander efforts to bring issues of interest and concern to indigenous peoples to the attention of Governments and the general public.

NAIDOC Week events highlight indigenous issues in Australia and provide an opportunity to display the richness and diversity of Australian Indigenous culture. Today it is celebrated not just in the indigenous community, but also in Australian government agencies, schools, local councils and workplaces.

The theme for NAIDOC 2007 is 50 years: Looking Forward, Looking Back and reflects the contribution that the indigenous community has given to the growth of Australia as a nation. It is also an opportunity to look forward to the next 50 years of Australia, to ensure that the indigenous culture and heritage is preserved and respected and that there are opportunities for Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders to play a positive role in the life of the nation.

The Australian High Commission in Colombo will mark NAIDOC Week by screening several short films about indigenous Australians in today’s society and also about Aboriginal legends or dreamtime stories.

While many of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live in major cities of Australia, a much greater proportion than of the general population live in remote and very remote parts of Australia. According to 2006 Census figures, there were 458,520 indigenous Australians.

The Australian Aboriginal flag is a recognizable symbol of the Aboriginal people in Australia - black represents the Aboriginal people of Australia, the color red represents the red earth, the red ochre used in ceremonies and Aboriginal people’s spiritual relation to the land, while the yellow disk represents the Sun, the giver of life and protector.

- Asian Tribune -

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