Here is the tenth edition of Medha to our readers. We have received encouraging and appreciative messages from number of eminent persons and government officials, just like we did in the previous years.
Sydney Sanskrit School has established a tradition of promoting linguistic pluralism. The school has worked with Dharawal Community to produce a “Sing Along CD in Dharawal and Sanskrit”, introduced Dharawal National anthem in school programs, composed an ode to Australia in Sanskrit, all of which are celebrated at all school proorams. It is heartening to note this concept is contagious and is catching on to other communities.
“Language is more than just a means to communicate, it is an essential characteristic that makes people and communities unique and plays a central role in a sense of identity. Language also carries meaning beyond the words themselves and is an important platform within which much cultural knowledge and heritage is passed on.”
Despite Australia endorsing The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2009, of the 250 Indigenous Australian languages including 800 dialectal varieties that were spoken on the continent at the time of European settlement in 1788, only 13 traditional Indigenous languages are still acquired by children and approximately another 100 or so are spoken to various degrees by older generations, with many of these languages at risk as Elders pass away. On a melancholy note, we mourn the loss of a notable Dharawal Elder, Les Bursil, OAM, whom the school worked with closely for many years since Dharawal-Sanskrit Bi Lingual Project. Les was “‘the knowledge holder on all things Dharawal” and his passing is an immense loss to the nation, we pay our respect to his passion, knowledge and guidance.
We thank the NSW Government’s Community Language program for supporting language schools, Principal, staff of our hosting schools in Marsden Road, Glenwood, and Darcy Road Public Schools in Liverpool, Glenfield and Wentworthville. We acknowledge the passionate support provided by the Federation of Community Languages, NSW as well as support from all local members of the government who have always been vocal supporters of multicultural Australia. The committee lauds students, from kindergarten to high school, who spend many glorious afternoons and evenings in pursuit of knowledge; hardworking, dedicated, passionate teachers, parents and volunteers who, despite their hectic work week devote their weekend and evening time with school children.
With sincere acknowledgement to all the custodians of community languages contributing to multicultural and multilingual Australia, we pay respects to the traditional custodians of Australia, The First Australians, their elders past and present. The editorial team present to you the tenth edition of Medha with a diverse set of articles that delve into science, psychology, metaphysics, Upanishads highlighting the relevance and significance of languages in social, cultural, health, spirituality, meditation, dance and yoga by authors passionate in their fields, for your reading pleasure. We hope you enjoy this.