Belonging: Indigenous Australians and Sense

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Belonging is the notion of acceptance among a group which have a shared identity or shared experiences. The key to belonging is the understanding of another’s interests, ideas, values and morals. Without understanding, belonging ceases to exist and alienation, rejection and not belonging is felt. Peter Skrzynecki’s poems from his Immigrant Chronicle reflect a sense of belonging through many contexts such as family, school, and also belonging to Australia. A sense of belonging is also present in Gabor Csupo’s film, ‘Bridge to Terabithia’, which deals with a sense of alienation and rejection of two kids, Jess and Leslie, who are social outcasts at school and feel as if they don’t fit in with their families. Kevin Rudd’s “Sorry” speech also deals with aspects of belonging, because the Aboriginal people in Australia experienced mistreatment because of their race, and because of the assimilation policy, their children were taken away from them and sent to live with white families to assimilate into a white society, leaving their Aboriginal culture behind and becoming disconnected with their families. A similar sense of belonging is present in Peter Skrzynecki’s poems ‘Feliks Skrzynecki’ and ’10 Mary Street’ in the context of families and loss of culture.

The ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ explores the relationship formed between Jess and Leslie because of the understanding that they both have for each other due to them both being social outcasts at school, and feeling as though they’re ignored at home. Csupo uses the film technique of non-diegetic sound to create a sense of not belonging in the scene where we see Jess sitting by himself watching his sister’s fight and his parents discussing their financial situation. The non-diegetic sound is effective in showing belonging in this scene because we see Jess sitting by himself, away from everyone else, implying that he feels isolated within his family, and the non-diegetic sound of music adds to his sense of isolation because...
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