Marrung barrang

Marrung barrang… in Dunghutti this means good morning! It’s been a while between posts but as you know, life gets busy!

Today is Mother’s Day, and on this day I wanted to share a few words about a topic that my own mother, Carol Vale, has influenced significantly in my life recently, and that is the importance and power of language.

As Aboriginal people, we have unique and distinct languages and they play such an important role in the transmission and maintenance of our cultures.

My family are Dunghutti and we come from NSW, around Bellbrook, Kempsey, SW Rocks way, and although my immediate family and I are not fortunate enough to speak our language, we are lucky enough to have a Dunghutti dictionary, which we are using to help us reintegrate Dunghutti words into our everyday lives. As an example, my Mum opens many of her emails these days with the term Marrung barrang… good morning!

Baluwa, is the Dunghutti word for Grandmother. My own great grandmother (my Pop’s mum), all my cousins and I called her Balu. I haven’t been able to convince my five year old to call his Nanny Baluwa yet but you never know, he may come around!

2019 is International year of Indigenous Languages and we can all do our part! Learn who your local people are, and what some local words are. Let’s work together to protect this important and sacred part of our culture.

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Deborah Hoger