Sense of Identity

Topics: Indigenous Australians, Identity, Colonialism Pages: 2 (724 words) Published: March 26, 2013
Developing a sense of self entity is an essential part of every individual becoming a mature person. Each person's self-conception is a unique combination of much identification, identifications as broad as woman or man, Catholic or Muslim, or as narrow as being a member of one particular family. Although self-identity may seem to coincide with a particular human being, identities are actually much wider than that. They are also collective -- identities extend to countries and ethnic communities, so that people feel injured when other persons sharing their identity are injured or killed. Sometimes people are even willing to sacrifice their individual lives to preserve their identity groups. The Australians Aboriginal sense of personal identity is derived from only one context, the idea of place. Negara, sense of place, is a word of great importance that contains both physical and metaphysical connotations. Unraveling these apparent contradictions reveals a distance dimension of the Aboriginal world view and sense of identity. The entire earthly environment is ngurraI, or "country", "camp", or "place", as made by the Ancestor Spirits. The colonization' of Australia by Europeans has caused a lot of problem for the local Aborigines. It drastically reduced their population, damaged ancient family ties, and removed thousands of Aboriginal people from the land they had lived on for centuries. In many cases, the loss of land can mean more than just physical displacement. Because land is so much connected to history and spirituality, the loss of it can lead to a loss of identity. The issue of Aboriginal identity only became an issue after white settlement. However, that is not to say that there was no cultural identity pre-colonization, but more that colonization was the cause of Aboriginal identity to be threatened. There are several ways in which the colonists imposed themselves on Aboriginal society. Firstly, when they arrived they needed land to settle on and this...
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