When I lived in London a couple of years ago, I was living in Hackney in the East End. If you haven’t heard of it before, you might hear about it come July, as it’s the site for the 2012 Olympics (don’t get me started on how disruptive that project has been to the life of people in Hackney, especially those living on the margins who have been “moved on” for a more aesthetically pleasing view for global TV audiences).
Hackney is an amazing place. On any given day, on any given bus, one could hear any number of the over 150 languages spoken in the borough. That’s a different language for every 850 people in this borough’s population of 127,000. Imagine little groups of 850 people each, out on the Hackney Marshes, listening to the Good News in their own language. What a scene.
At one time, not that long ago, there were over 600 languages spoken among the First Nations, Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples in Australia. Many of these languages are lost forever, or fading quickly away like a drying salt lake in the desert.
This year, Pentecost Sunday coincides with Reconciliation Sunday in the Uniting Church in Australia. It’s a time to faithfully consider the importance of hearing good news in your own native language and the essential role that language preservation has to play in reconciliation. May God bless us to hear one another deeply on these issues.
Here’s the Lord’s Prayer in the language of the traditional culture in the Adelaide region of South Australia, the Kaurna people.
You can hear it spoken here.
The Lord’s Prayer
Jehovah-’s request / pray-thing ‘The Lord’s Prayer’
Ngadluko yerli karralika tikka-ndi;
Our father on high sits ‘Our father sits in heaven’
Ninna narri tampi-rna, kuinyunda kumarta-ppi-rna;
You name acknowledge-let sacred apart-cause-let ‘Let your name be acknowledged, let it be kept sacred.’
Ninko yerlti-yerlti-nya pintya-rna;
Your advice/command create-let ‘Let your rule be established’
Ninko padloni-tti yerta-ngga wappi-rna
Your want-thing earth-on do-let ‘Let your want be done on earth’
High-on resemble-ing ‘As it is on high’
Ngadluko mai yunggu-ndo!
Our food give-you! ‘Give (us) our food.’
Ngadluko wakkinna kumba-ppi-ndo!
Our sin remove-make-you! ‘Take away our sin.’
Ngadlu tangka waia-re-ndi kumarta-nna-ityangga wakkinna wappe-ndi
We liver move-itself-is separate-pl-with wrong do-ing ‘Have compassion for those who do wrong.’
Sin-to draw-don’t ‘Don’t draw us into sin.’
Sin-from protect make-you! ‘Save us from sin.’
Ninna mattanya, taingi, wilta, burti burti tarkari tundarri.
You owner strength power gladness future forever
‘You are the boss, the strength, the power, the glory for ever and ever.’
Do-let! (i.e. let it be done)
It’s been a pleasure sharing with you during the Lent-Easter season here on the SeasonsFUSION Blog. If you’re ever in Adelaide, South Australia, please drop by Pilgrim Uniting Church for a cuppa with me.
And if you’re ever in Darwin, in the Northern Territory of Australia, on a Saturday morning, be sure to hang out with the mob at Nightcliff Uniting Church who produced the SeasonsFUSION resources for Lent, Easter. It’s a lovely Alternative Resource Community that will hopefully inspire and refresh you.
The peace of Christ be with you, and the Holy Spirit breathe new life into you, always.