Totally unprepared, I walked into a televised ceremony to start Australia Day 2014 at the Sydney Opera House. Presiding over the processions was the Governor of New South Wales (so I gleaned by eavesdropping).
I have no knowledge whatsoever about Australian Aborigines… I remember very vaguely something called The Dreaming from Form 3 Social Studies, and some cool dotted mosaic art. But if Maori ceremonies were anything to go by, this cultural show could be pretty cool. And hey, with my cheap DSLR people thought I was from the media 🙂 So here goes…
Apparently this was called the Fire Ceremony, where they light up a fire from native tree branches. Later on representatives from other ethnic groups presented branches associated with other parts of the world were put into the mix. This supposedly symbolises the melting pot (pun intended) that Sydney is.
Personally, I had fun just trying to figure out what their traditional dance was all about. While didgeridoo was expertly played, it looks like each dancer took on a role of an some animal. And then each one took turn doing a dance-off.
Lastly, here’s a group shot of the cultural representatives.