Healthcare Assignment: Cultural Identity of Aboriginals & Torres Strait Islanders
Task: The purpose of this healthcare assignment is for students to demonstrate understanding of what culture and identity is and how identity, along with social and cultural factors can influence beliefs and values. Students need to also look inward and recognise their own culture and how their own values and beliefs influence the way they view the world and see other people. To enable us to understand other cultures, we must first recognise that we all have our own culture.
Introduction to the context of healthcare assignment
Identity and the cultural norms define us as individuals. The beliefs and culture we share gives us our identity and influences the life we live, from the food we eat to the clothes we wear. The traditions a community has, the beliefs they follow, the values they have built, their ways of worship, the way they work with each other in the community and so on are few of the factors that influence my cultural lens. Here in this essay an attempt is made to understand what cultural identity is and what have we learnt from our interaction with Aboriginals and the Torres Strait Islander People.
Culture is a complex whole that forms the lifeline of a community which comprises traditions, knowledge, habit, capabilities, art, education, teachings and philosophy. Culture defines a person and their identity. Now identity is another complex term. It distinguishes a person as an individual and a community as a society. The culture they have, the traditions they follow, the rules they implement and so on form the basic structure of identity. Identity helps us distinguish a person from another and one community from the other. The characteristics of my identity lies in the ways I wear my clothes and the traditions I share with the people of my community.
The Aboriginals and the Torres Strait Islander People are the two unique Australian indigenous groups and both of them share some similarity in culture and beliefs. They have been living in this land for a long time and their beliefs are influenced by the nature around them (Jones et al., 2018). For these people nature is a big part of their life (Wilson et al., 2019). The way they dress, the food they eat, the education they depart on the younger generations, the philosophy that unifies them, and the traditions that they have are all influenced by the nature around them. That is why in most of the community nature is worshiped. These people have a language system that is unique to them and rich in vocabulary (Schultz &Cairney, 2017). Many of the words spoken in this language have deeper meaning and it is difficult to explain what the word means in English within one or two words. The language they speak reflects the richness of the culture they have and the beliefs they share. Another important thing is the bond they share with family (Avery, 2018). The family of the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander people are often very huge and they give a lot of priority to the unity that they share within their families. Their families even extend to the in-laws and other kin in a complex way. They have a strong sense of bonding within themselves (Dockery, 2016). Here the children have a strong sense of respect towards the older members of the society and they abide by their teachings and guidance. The people of these communities work together, participate in different events togethers and contribute to make their community better. Another important part of their culture that I have observed is that the elders of the communities play a very important part. They are considered to be the knowledge bearers and the ones who can share the ancient knowledge and cultural beliefs to others (Murrup?Stewart et al., 2019). The elders are very important members of the community and their counsel is often taken on different issues including political and economic. Storytelling and lore is also a big part of the culture that the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander People have. Through these stories they pass on the knowledge of their ancient traditions to the younger generations and it also helps in bonding and maintaining relationships among them (Tubex& Cox, 2020). The laws and the rules that they follow are guided by the nature and the environment around them and so is their culture. Colonisation and years of oppression had dreadful impacts on their culture and some of their traditions were even prohibited by the early colonial government as they did not understand the traditions (Markwick et al., 2019). This had long lasting effects whose impacts can be felt even now. There were over two hundred different languages in which the Australian Indigenous People once spoke. Due to incidents like colonisation and early governmental oppression most of these languages are lost and with their culture (Griffiths et al., 2016). However, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People are among the few who still have respect for their culture and keep it alive.
The culture that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people share is rich and ancient. Their culture and the way they live are deeply spiritual and is inspired from nature. The life they live is a deep reflection of the nature around them. In a time when the majority of the world is dependent on the exploitation of the environment, the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander people and the way they live is a reminder of how important it is to respect nature and give back to the world we live in (Butler et al., 2019). The journey of getting to know these people has been very insightful. They have made me understand the importance and the need for family. They have a strong sense of bonding within themselves. Here the children have a strong sense of respect towards the older members of the society and they abide by their teachings and guidance.
The Paul Keating’s Redfern Park Speech of 1992 has confirmed the idea my personal views on the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander People. In the historical speech the former Australian Prime Minister acknowledged the negative impacts that colonisation and years of oppression the early colonial government had on these people (Tilbury, 2015). This acknowledgement was important as it recognises the torture and the suffering that they had to go through and serves as a reminder of effects such incidents can have. The multicultural society of Australia can only progress when everyone starts to work together towards building a better society and it all starts with giving the Indigenous People of the land their due respect and rights (Salmon et al., 2019).
The people of Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander communities work together, participate in different events togethers and contribute to make their community better. The traditions of having elders in the community is also very intriguing. The responsibilities the elders have and the respect that they get from the other members of the community shows how they acknowledge the importance of the knowledge and the experience the elders have. This shows the respect they have for their older members and that is something that is rare in present times.
The culture defines a community. The traditions and the beliefs that they share forms the basic structure on which they stand. This constructs their identity. The culture that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has is rich and an ancient one. Their culture is remain close to the nature and relies on the mutual relation humans have with the natural resources of the world. The bond families share, the respect they have for their older members, the traditions they follow, the teachings they have and the philosophy they follow is deeply spiritual and connected to the nature. It was an insightful journey to know about them. The discussions of this essay shows the unique culture that the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander People have.
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