Some australian history: The Aboriginals and The Rainbow Serpent

Australia’s Aboriginals culture is one of the oldest cultures in the world. It all started about 45 000 years ago. They believe that it was them who “made the world”.

The people didn´t stay in one place, but moved seasonally between settlements near the sea. They lived by hunting and gathering, and they were experts in seeking out water. The aboriginals were mostly peaceful people, the historians say that they never needed to be warriors because they knew their land and their boundaries.

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The Aboriginals were very religious people. Their religion is now called “the dreaming” or “the dream time”. Their most religious beliefs are derived from a sense of belonging-to-the-land, to the sea, to other people, to one’s country.

What is the Dreaming? “The Dreaming means our identity as people. The cultural teaching and everything, that’s part of our lives here, you know?… it’s the understanding of what we have around us.” Merv Penrith, Elder, Wallaga Lake, 1996

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The Aboriginals religion symbols

Nowadays most of the Aboriginals people live in cities and the suburbs. Many have their own farms and animals.Some Aboriginals still live in remote areas and still practice some of their traditional ways of life but these groups are scare.

The Aboriginals are an equivalent to Samer, also called Native Norwegian Indians. They are both indigenous.

The rainbow serpent is an old australian story about how countries went from a flat landscape with humans as the only creatures, to mountains, valleys and several animals. The story is named for the obvious identification between the shape of a rainbow and the shape of a snake. Some scholars have suggested that the link between the snake and a rainbow suggests the cycle of the seasons and the importance of water in human life.When the rainbow is seen in the sky, it is said to be the Rainbow Serpent moving from one waterhole to another, and the spiritual concept explained why some waterholes never dried up when drought struck.

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More concrete, the story is about a massive snake which is described as a “creator god”, because it structured the landscape as it moved around.

A summary of “The Rainbow Serpent”

The short story “The Rainbow Serpent” is a story about a giant serpent called Goorialla. The serpent lived in Dreamtime. There were no animals, vegetation, hills or mountains, the only thing that existed were humans and Goorialla.

Gorialla travled from the South to the North in Australia looking for its tribe. On his journey to find its tribe it met many people who spoke a different tongue, its gigantic body made creeks, rivers and even mountains. After traveling north it found its tribe in a place where to rivers crossed. It watched them dance and sing for a long time before it came out and was welcomed by its people. The serpent taught its people to dance and how to dress.

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The people then noticed that a big storm was brewing so they started building shelters, but there weren’t enough supplies to build shelter for everyone so the serpent told to brothers to seek shelter inside its mouth. Gorialla then swallowed the brothers whole, it then fled the area in fear of what the people would do when they found out. When the tribe noticed that both the serpent and the brothers were gone they put two and two together and started hunting the serpent.

Many tribe members tried to climb a tall mountain where they had discovered Gorialla, when they reached the top they found the serpent sleeping. They decided to cut open the serpent’s stomach and free the brothers from Gorialla. But when they cut it open the brothers had turned in to parrots with all the colors of the rainbow. The brothers were now free and could fly away. The tribe proceeded to climb down the mountain whilst Gorialla was sleeping. When the serpent awoke it became enraged and started throwing giant rocks from the mountain. These rocks killed many tribe members who were trying to flee the area. The rocks also became the mountains and hills that are still standing today.

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The rest of the tribe turned into many different animals and insects in an attempt to escape from Gorialla. In the end Gorialla slithered into the ocean and disappeared. Some legends even say that Gorialla is still watching over Australia.

Written by:
Me, FredrikkeNora and Mathias. (be sure to check out their blogs as well! :D)

Sources:
http://australianmuseum.net.au/indigenous-australia-spirituality
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqkgKkW8o6E
http://www.aboriginalculture.com.au/religion.shtml
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Serpent

 

 

Using Kahoot to learn!

Today in our english lesson, we got a visit from the Kahoot team from London, which wanted to film us making and solving Kahoot quizzes. In our groups, we worked on questions about Ernest Hemingway, who I wrote a post about last time. You can read the post here, and play the Kahoot which was made by our group!

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Even though many students in Norway have heard about and used Kahoot.it, many people don’t know what it is or how it works. Basically, it is a site where you can first make a quiz/survey/discussion and then play with your friends or class, by them joining either on their phone or laptop. It is a really fun way to learn new facts, and make a lesson a bit more interesting.
I have first heard of this site about a year ago, at an event in Oslo. It was such a fascinating experience! Some time later, it was introduced to us in class by our teacher. Then we got to make our own quizzes which didn’t turn out perfect in the beginning, but now they are just getting much better.

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We use Kahoot not only in class, but also outside of our lessons. It was introduced to us also on an conference at the Oslo Innovation Week, where our english teacher, Ann Michaelsen, was talking about technology at our school. Then we solved a few kahoot quizzes, where one of them was actually won by two of my classmates!
In my opinion kahoot is a great invention and I highly recommend it to other teachers and students. The kahoot crew was also really kind and they seemed very enthusiastic about their work.

It was a great experience having the kahoot team in our lesson, and I hope we will get similar opportunities in the future 🙂

Is it better to suffer in silence?- “A days wait”- short story by E. Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway was probably one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. He was known for his novels, eg. The Old Man and The Sea, or A Farewell to Arms. The story which we read today, was called “A days wait” and it is a text about bravery and suffering. The main character in the story is a 9 year old boy, who due to a misunderstanding thinks that he is dying. He tries to keep the pain to himself and doesn’t say that he is scared. In my opinion this is an act of bravery, especially because of his young age. I think it also isn’t that easy to open up to people about something important, and this topic is even more fragile. Opening up to someone is a hard thing even for me, but after a while I feel confident enough to talk about nearly everything. Of course it’s not as easy as it sounds.

EH 2723P  Milan, 1918 Ernest Hemingway, American Red Cross volunteer. Portrait by Ermeni Studios, Milan, Italy. Please credit "Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston".
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Ernest Hemingway, American Red Cross volunteer. Portrait by Ermeni Studios, Milan, Italy. Please credit “Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston”.

The “Lost Generation” was the generation that came of age during World War I. The term was popularized by Ernest Hemingway, who used it in the story “The Sun Also Rises”. Hemingway, together with F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sherwood Anderson had a very influential style, which was both new and different back then. How he wrote his texts and the dialogs he made, were later a big influence to other writers.

Most of his work was an effect of real life experiences, for example the novel we read in class was based on something that has happened to him a few years earlier, when his own son mixed up the two scales and thought that he was really sick. In that way he used something that has actually happened in his work.

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According to cliffnotes.com, “Hemingway’s style is simple, direct, and unadorned, probably as a result of his early newspaper training. He avoids the adjective whenever possible, but because he is a master at transmitting emotion without the flowery prose, the effect is far more telling. Hemingway puts his emphasis on nouns because, among other parts of speech, they come closest to things. Stringing them along by means of conjunctions, he approximates the actual flow of experience.”

Hemingway has often been described as a master of dialogue, and many think that “this is the way these characters would really talk.” I totally agree with that. In the lines 65-83, we can read a short conversation between the child and his father. It consists of very short sentences and answers, furthermore, the speakers are not even trying to make the conversation sound important. This is exactly what Hemingway’s writing style is recognizable for. For instance, we read in the text:

(boy)     “Who said so?”
(father)  “The doctor.”

This is an example from the story of how Hemingway writes dialogues. In my opinion it is a great way of avoiding long, unnecessary sentences, and just including the most important information for the reader.

The main character of the story is a 9 year old boy, who lives with his father. The child is ill, but makes a much bigger deal of it than it actually is. However, we can see that he is trying to be brave and cope with the problem by himself, rather that talking with his dad which is a big act as for a child, but not a good reason to isolate himself from the rest of the people in the house. He doubts that the medicine will help, as he thinks he is going to die anyway due to the fever. Even so, we shouldn’t underestimate his attempts of not making a fuss of his situation. All of this shows how much courage this 9-year-old boy must have.

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As for the father, he is a little bit calmer than the child. Although, it might be because he isn’t aware of what is going on in his child’s mind. He has no idea that the 9 year old is so convinced that those are the last few hours of his short life. The dad does what a father is supposed to do- calls the doctor, gives medicine, checks up on him. But the thing he isn’t doing, is talking with his son, maybe the most important thing of all. Fortunately, the story ends happily and the boy has no more reasons to be worried.

Personally, I have read a few short stories/novels by Ernest Hemingway, and every single time I am very satisfied by them. I must admit that he was one of the most influential writers of all times.