Monday, May 14, 2007

Arafura 07

Arafura games stands
Crowd at the stadium

The Arafura Games opening ceremony on Saturday night was fantastic. On Saturday afternoon we met up with a friend and her daughter, gathered some food a rug and a couple of chairs and headed off to the Marrara Sports Stadium along with just about everybody else who lives in Darwin. We arrived at the grounds at about 5:30 to join the huge cues of people eager see the ceremony and welcome the athletes. I thought we would be standing there for ages but the gate keepers did such a great job we all filed through in no time.
There was a great deal of excitement amongst the athletes many of whom have never been outside their own country before. We all cheered as they made their way around the stadium and the sound of plastic clappers filled the air. The atmosphere was very friendly, the only trouble the police seemed to have was stopping kids from running too far out onto the field and mingling with the athletes during the ceremony. Performers included Yuliana Pascoe, Jessica Mauboy and NEO. I can't wait to see Yuliana gain National recognition for her talent; she is an awesome performer! When NEO came out in their flamboyant jumpsuits I expected the crowd to go wild..... but...... they didn't! WHat is wrong with these people? This is possibly the greatest band Darwin has ever produced and all they raised was a muffled applause. I had to sit down quietly when I realized I was the only one jumping up and down Roaring YEHHHHH NEO.... YEHHHHHhhh..... Oh? Ok. no one else is really into them. I think Sam was a little embarrassed.
The highlight was an acrobat floating around the stadium on a huge floating ball. I think it was called a Heliosphere, but the kids called it the fairy. You can imagine the rest of the weekend "Where is the fairy? I want to see the fairy!" It was awesome!

Arafura games
Papua New Guinea

The only real disappointment was the crap that the NT news decided to print on the front page that day! It is the opening ceremony of the Arafura games, one of, if not the biggest event on Darwin's calender, and international event drawing people from a broad range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. For many this is their first experience of another country and for even more their first experience of a Western country and what does our news paper print on it's front page? Half a page of colour images of beer, and yet another story about how much Territorians drink! There is no point trying to hide the fact from our visitors they are visiting a heathen country. Our dominant cultural icon appears to be a polar bear who promotes the consumption of rum! As I drove the family home from the wharf via Mitchel St past The Deck bar, I reflected on how one might explain to a visitor that a bunch of semi naked bikini girls prancing around in high heals is not perverted headonism but more a cultural expression of equality.... I still haven't figured out how that might be done amid the common chorus of "Get yer geer orf!" Oh well maybe one day they will understand.


Pots-o-fruit becoming jam
I made the Rosella Jam. :)


Ian said...

Oooooh... that jam smells goooood!

Hafta agree re the paper too... I think that image may well serve a purpose another day, but veeery sad choice of material just at the moment when we are displaying our supposed desirable, accepting culture to overseas visitors :-(

Made said...

yeah, i read this page and what'd you wrote all is very interesting....
keep blogging!! :D