News May 2012

State of Origin

This month sees the start of the annual Rugby League challenge between Queensland and New South Wales (known as ‘State of Origin’). To play for either team requires that the players have either played in one state for most of their career or that they originate from that state.

It is the latter that is important and resonates with us as individuals. Our country, or state of origin, expresses who we are, where we come from and to whom we belong. Our nature as human beings is the desire to belong. It is only as we break it down, from country, to county, to village, to family, to name, that we truly find our identity.

This is exemplified by the Aboriginal people. Their name gives an indication and was put together to give a full picture of that particular individual:

a tribal name, depending on the blood father (Patronym); a name, depending upon the suitable marriage union and the blood mother (Gamomatronym); a name particularising the blood-mother from her offspring (Paedomatronym); a name, depending on the group to which the individual belongs (Heteronym); a name, depending on the person’s own true family connections (as understood among Europeans) (Geneanym); a personal or individual name, based for the most part upon physical peculiarities or objects of nature (Autonym); and a name, depending upon his social degree, his status on the social ladder (Climanym) (W. E. Roth, The Queensland Aborigines, Vol. I)

Even today their name reflects their origin, easily traced back by knowledgeable Elders. The importance of knowing our origin gives the stability and confidence to live a fulfilled life. It doesn’t matter where we are going. As long as we know where we are coming from, we can live in the knowledge, confidence and security of recognizing where we are going. ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.’ (Charles Darwin)

‘A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.’ (Marcus Garvey, 1867 – 1940)


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