Sunday, April 10, 2011

Don't ban the Uluru climb!

by Moo

I thought long and hard about whether to climb Uluru or not. My husband and I did the walk around first and were very careful not to photograph the sacred sights.

The climb was opened the next day and we decided to do it - figuring it may be our only chance.

We rationalised the decision based on the fact that the rock was here long before the Aboriginals settled in the area.

I am interested in Aboriginal culture but I am not prepared to live by their cultural beliefs, in fact, many of their dreamtime stories set in the Uluru area are forbidden to be told to people outside of their culture - so even if I desired to have a full understanding I am denied that in advance.

People who are wanting to be respectful and not climb compare climbing the rock to climbing over a church... but I see a stronger correlation with Islam and their ban on showing a picture of Mohammad, not only are followers not allowed to show the picture, NO ONE CAN.

Many people think this is unfair, including some governments.

Some people who choose not to climb Uluru seem to think they are superior to people who do choose to climb against the wishes of the local Aboriginals.

Well, I say there are very few in that number, who choose not to climb, who have any true or profound understanding of what Aboriginal culture is all about themselves, choosing to stay off the climb might make you obedient, respectful and nice but it doesn't educate you and it doesn't make you right.

In my short stay in Uluru I got the impression that Aboriginal culture had a strong series of customs based on exclusion.

They exclude the men from the womens sections and vice versa - the opposite sex may not even view the segregated areas - which is why photographs are forbidden FOR EVERYONE.

The serious and strong attempts to get everyone off the rock is an extension of the culture of exclusion that I don't live by.

The Aboriginals say it best themselves "We don't Climb" That's fine, don't climb, don't allow your families and extended community to climb - stick with your beliefs and don't impose them on everyone else on Earth.

The climb itself was amazing and I feel strongly that people should be allowed to climb if they want to.

I am horrified by the thought that it might be banned, in my opinion that will be a tragedy.

That's all I wanted to say.
Thanks for reading.

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