Yolngu Boy vs Personal Culture Essay
A rite of passage is a ritual or ceremony signifying an event in a person’s life indicative of a transition from one stage to another, as from adolescence to adulthood. Rites of Passage change according to culture, religion, socialisation and personal identity. They can be categorised into time, environment, society & culture and persons.
The film ‘Yolngu boy’ follows the coming of age journey of three young aboriginal boys; Lorrpu, Botj and Milika as they experience their own rite of passage mainly influenced by environment, power and authority and culture. Their lives and rites of passage are very different to my own.
A cultural comparison can be made between my culture and Yolngu culture. Their coming of age is represented through a traditional ceremony whereas in my life, there are no definite recognitions of becoming an adult except gaining the right to vote and the law changing slightly, there is no leaving society and reentering as a transformed adult in the eyes of society.
Identity As the three boys embark on their journey to Darwin we are shown flashbacks of their childhood as young aboriginal children and how they were brought up to respect their gods and culture, this affects them all differently as Botj tends to resent his culture and Lorrpu embraces it, Milika is the westernized one of the three and his identity is mainly based upon introduced ideas to the aboriginal culture such as AFL and music/technology. My own identity is based around the choices I make, society’s expectations and my experiences. I have no religious cultural guidelines to dictate my choices or identity.
Socialisation (Environment, Peers, School & Family) Yolngu Boy is set in North-Eastern Arnhem land, where the community the boys come from live very close together , their peers and family rarely change in comparison to my own environment where friends are always moving and changing especially as I lose connection to various peers in the transition from primary to high school. My life greatly differs from Botj, Lorrpu and Milika as they don’t seem to be enrolled in school, whereas a major percentage of my time is spent at school. The only schooling the boys seem to have received is their cultural ways of living, which becomes useful in their journey to Darwin. Power and Authority
Because of the boys culture, their figure of Authority to look up to is Dawu the tribal elder who is responsible for the entire tribe, this is very different but also similar to my own lifestyle. Its different because the Power figures in my life, my family hold only power over me and not my friends or in society, it’s very similar to my schooling as well, every student in school is subject to the same rules and punishments even though they’re not related in any way except through school.
Media The perfect example for a cross cultural study is the Media and the way it affects the three boys in Yolngu Boy and myself. Living in rural Australia the media does not have a huge affect on the boys upbringing excluding Milika whos life is greatly influenced by western culture mainly music and his perusal of sport, AFL. Media has a great effect on my life as I as a teenager am the main target for pressures of the media, dictating what i look like, should like and be like.