Learning to Say Hello

From where I live it seems it’s always tomorrow in Australia and tomorrow – January 26 – is Australia Day.

Never quite sure what to make of the narrative and counternarratives: happy colonization meets conscious grief down under. As a non-Australian trying to assemble meaning, I keep a special lookout for insights, like waiting for a comet streaking across dark skies.

Thanks to livestreaming video, about a year ago I came across this gem:

TEDX inspires here with this presentation by  Kylie Farmer (Kaarljilba Kaardn)  is an Aboriginal Australian actress, TV presenter, writer and director and YouTube inspiration.

Kylie nails it, addressing the group in her Nyungar/Bibbulmun Aboriginal language and then in English to ask how many people know how to say ‘hello’ in the local lingo. Zero hands go up in the auditorium.

She is not addressing tourists or travelers per se, but fellow Australians. Still I think what a wonderful thing if city travel guides included a short dictionary of the relevant indigenous language. Imagine the Oaxaca City Guide with greetings in Ayuuk, Chinantec, Mixtec, Zapotec and all the other tecs. What is the face of Quito in Quechua? Auckland in Maori? Stockholm in Sami? The Riviera Maya in Maya? Fort Wayne in Miami? Miami in Calusa and Tequesta. Phoenix in Navajo? Or Las Vegas in Paiute? Let’s see what we can accomplish during Responsible Travel Week and before February 21 International Mother Language Day.

Via Twitter good friend Antonio Suarez – @AntonioSuarez1asks if there are any good movies about responsible travel and ecotourism. That’s a great survey question and you can answer in a comment below,  on the Facebook event page or via Google Docs. For me, I’m compiling – curating – a youtube playlist for our upcoming Responsible Travel Week and Kylie’s video is one I’d highly recommend viewing, liking, embedding, commenting and adding to a playlist of your own.


Photo: Chromecasting the presentation on the big screen, great for viewing parties

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