Thursday, October 18, 2007

Travel: Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia

She sat on the floor in one of the main halls of the Cultural Centre—shoulders hunched, working on a painting; her dark blue frock-style dress fanning out around her. The painting was colourful, with swirling dots morphing into circles, telling Tjukurpa tales. A little further away lay four or five boat-shaped bowls containing grains that were very similar to ragi.

As we approached, she took one look at us and delightedly rubbed her skin with her fingers, and then reached over to touch my son, saying something to a park ranger nearby. The ranger translated, “Barbara says ‘aborigine’.” We nodded, adding that we were from India.

In her own way, Barbara was seconding what archaeologists have long postulated: the parallels between the races of Central India, Sri Lanka and the Anangu, as the aborigines of Australia like to be called. Archaeologists estimate that the Anangu have lived in the southern continent for at least 50,000 years, continuously adapting their way of life to the vagaries of plate tectonics (it is believed that, once upon a time, Australia had a land connection to Asia) and the changing landscape.

The rest appears in this weekend's Mint Lounge.


Sunita Venkatachalam said...

Wow, that picture looks awesome. I've said this before I'm sure, but you are just so well traveled, it's awesome.

Sujatha Bagal said...

Thanks P's mom. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow that must have been some trip!

Sujatha Bagal said...

N, it was. Little N was all of five months old. It was some experience. But it turned out great, all two weeks of it!

Anonymous said...

5 mo old? Did I tell you ever that you are GOD?!

Sujatha Bagal said...

*Grin*. At least on one other post N, as I recall. Thanks! You're very kind. :))

Unknown said...

We have driven all the way from Sydney to Uluru few yrs ago.
Stopping in between and thinking what else is there to see and as we approached the rock (in the middle of no where).It was magical and we went around the rock which was guided by a ranger(Mala walk) and did not climb the rock as it is of spiritual significance for the abroginals.
Looking at your post,
All my memories came flooding back to me.
We saw the sunset and sunrise and you can literally see the rock change colours.It was dramatic.
Iam sure you guys had a good time.

Sujatha Bagal said...

Sridevi, thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm glad the post brought back good memories.