Society/Culture Ruckus on the Rock

Balls In

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This is an interesting case with the monolith being a culturally significant icon for both indigenous and non indigenous people.

With the traditional owners announcing its closure there's been a spike in tourists flocking to to red centre and viral photo's have emerged showing hundreds of people snaking up the rock. This has saddened the TO's and sparked fierce debate as to whether it should have been closed at all.
 

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Balls In

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Just another front in the culture wars in which aging white men take offence at being told they can't do something anymore.
The tourists flocking to the site since the announcement of the closure indicates a broad interest by more than aging white people. Apparantly its particularly frequented by Japanese tourists.
 

Gough

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Indeed. Probably pining for the days when they could chisel off a piece of Stonehenge as well.
Given the absence of any actual policy from the government and an economy that's tankiing I'd file this alongside the religious freedoms rubbish as a bit of a look over there issue.
 

kickazz

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Well it's hardly surprising. People who wanted to climb it realise it's their last chance, so we are getting a deluge of them now.

I would have thought the local authorities would have planned accordingly.
 

Malifice

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I dont get what kind of campaigner would want to climb it. There is a sign there that tells you it's sacred to the local people, and asking you not to.

It's as bad as those tools that ride elephants in Thailand, or think getting a photo near a drugged tiger is OK.

Seriously, who goes to another country, and then takes a dump on the customs and wishes of the people that live there?
 

Bradesmaen

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Seriously, who goes to another country, and then takes a dump on the customs and wishes of the people that live there?
Australians, Americans, British. You know the ones with the culture of taking a dump on culture, but then complaining their "culture" is being taken away.
 

Malifice

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Australians, Americans, British. You know the ones with the culture of taking a dump on culture, but then complaining their "culture" is being taken away.
Im acutely aware of the 'braided hair bogan' family in Thailand or Bali who go there all the time while simultaneously complaining about how smelly/ disorganised/ poor everyone is while sucking down 1 dollar Singhas and getting ripped off for Bintang singlets, but even those guys wouldnt climb all over a Buddhist or Hindu temple if the locals asked them not to.

I get people climb Uluru because they're unaware (they miss the sign asking you not to, and they see the railing leading up making it look like you should), But as far as I'm aware once you're aware that the local owners have asked you not to, and you do it anyway, you're in the same camp as those than boo Goodes.

I.e: You're a giant flog at a bare minimum.
 

kickazz

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Seriously, who goes to another country, and then takes a dump on the customs and wishes of the people that live there?
Westerners climbing Everest because they have the money to do so.

Chinese tourists who won't keep quiet in the Sistine Chapel.

Muslims setting up Sharia Law courts in the UK.

Aussies/Brits that go to Oktoberfest and sing footy songs and get into fights.


It seems a worldwide phenomenon to respect one's own culture more than that of the land you are visiting.
 

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Balls In

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I dont get what kind of campaigner would want to climb it. There is a sign there that tells you it's sacred to the local people, and asking you not to.

It's as bad as those tools that ride elephants in Thailand, or think getting a photo near a drugged tiger is OK.

Seriously, who goes to another country, and then takes a dump on the customs and wishes of the people that live there?
The tourism industry doesn't exactly advertise the fact that the climb is frowned upon. Often the very first time tourists have heard of this is when they see the sign itself after spending thousands of dollars to get here. You can sort of see why some might chose to climb.
 

Malifice

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Westerners climbing Everest because they have the money to do so.
The Nepalese dont have any cultural rules against climbing Everest. Heck; the second guy to do it (by a few seconds) was Nepalese.

Chinese tourists who won't keep quiet in the Sistine Chapel.
They're not climbing the bastard are they?

Muslims setting up Sharia Law courts in the UK.
Whats that got to do with anything?

Aussies/Brits that go to Oktoberfest and sing footy songs and get into fights.
Thats being a bogan s**t, not being disrespectful.

It seems a worldwide phenomenon to respect one's own culture more than that of the land you are visiting.
Only for s**t-campaigner tourists. Most people I travel with dont ride the elephants, or swim with the whale sharks. They cover up in temples, and are respectful and deferential to local customs and cultural norms.
 

Balls In

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Well it's hardly surprising. People who wanted to climb it realise it's their last chance, so we are getting a deluge of them now.

I would have thought the local authorities would have planned accordingly.
Construction of the local resort cost the Australian taxpayer hundreds of millions of dollars and is staffed by approximately 40% indigenous people. What if this decision results in a sharp decline in tourism to the red centre?
 

Malifice

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The tourism industry doesn't exactly advertise the fact that the climb is frowned upon. Often the very first time tourists have heard of this is when they see the sign itself after spending thousands of dollars to get here. You can sort of see why some might chose to climb.
Yeah, point taken. Plently of tourists do get there and are surprised to find out you shouldnt climb it.

I've seen it myself; they've gone a long way (it's literally giant rock in the middle of no-where), and when they finally get there they're asked not to climb it. At the same time it's got a climbing railing on the side of it begging them to do so.

It's then a decision to make.

Honestly, most backpackers and such and decent people dont climb it in my experience. Some who woudlnt normally climb it might in those circumstances.
 

kickazz

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Construction of the local resort cost the Australian taxpayer hundreds of millions of dollars and is staffed by approximately 40% indigenous people. What if this decision results in a sharp decline in tourism to the red centre?
Well therein lies the challenge.

Need to be able to sell its significance as a cultural attraction that need not be climbed. It's an opportunity for indigenous Australians to share what the rock means to them to the wider world (if indeed that's what they want?)

Shifting many people away from their desire to "climb and conquer" to a desire to explore and understand is a challenge but not an insurmountable one.
 

Bradesmaen

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Im acutely aware of the 'braided hair bogan' family in Thailand or Bali who go there all the time while simultaneously complaining about how smelly/ disorganised/ poor everyone is while sucking down 1 dollar Singhas and getting ripped off for Bintang singlets, but even those guys wouldnt climb all over a Buddhist or Hindu temple if the locals asked them not to.

I get people climb Uluru because they're unaware (they miss the sign asking you not to, and they see the railing leading up making it look like you should), But as far as I'm aware once you're aware that the local owners have asked you not to, and you do it anyway, you're in the same camp as those than boo Goodes.

I.e: You're a giant flog at a bare minimum.
I mean I was more just thinking in general not Bali. Plenty of people who do things like go swimming in the Trevi Fountain or won't be quiet in a church. Not taking shoes off inside places in Japan or just being general drunks pi**ing all over the place.
 

Balls In

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Well therein lies the challenge.

Need to be able to sell its significance as a cultural attraction that need not be climbed. It's an opportunity for indigenous Australians to share what the rock means to them to the wider world (if indeed that's what they want?)

Shifting many people away from their desire to "climb and conquer" to a desire to explore and understand is a challenge but not an insurmountable one.
A full blown challenge to maintain tourism as the rock is literally the only thing there. Super impressive but within a couple of days getting used to the backdrop there's not much else to do. At its base there's some rock art locations but there's 10x better examples right through the NT and Pilbara which have a multitude of natural attractions that Uluru is competing with. I just worry that tourists are going to the Rock to tick it off as a exhilarating conquest and will be less likely to bother now that you cant climb it. This is probably the most unique view in Australia and up to now a major selling point of the Uluru experience;

Climbing Uluru
 

Fat Yak

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I dont get what kind of campaigner would want to climb it. There is a sign there that tells you it's sacred to the local people, and asking you not to.

It's as bad as those tools that ride elephants in Thailand, or think getting a photo near a drugged tiger is OK.

Seriously, who goes to another country, and then takes a dump on the customs and wishes of the people that live there?
Fake new Mal, fake news.

I had the opportunity of speaking with Paddy Uluru early in my work in Central Australia (I arrived in December 1974).
Mr Uluru was the undisputed custodian of The Rock at that time.
We spoke face to face at the base of monolith, and he was happy to be photographed with the Rock in the background. (Restrictions on photography of The Rock has since developed into a nasty, bitter and divisive issue. Apart from anything else the rules are stifling millions of dollars worth of free publicity of this tourist attraction.)
Mr Uluru told me if tourists are stupid enough to climb the Rock, they’re welcome to it.
For him there was nothing of practical value up there such as water, game nor edible plants.
He made it clear that knowledge of certain elements of the Rock’s dreaming must remain secret, to be known only by a strictly defined circle of people.
That knowledge would be passed on to outsiders at the pain of serious punishment and perhaps death.
But the physical act of climbing was of no cultural interest, Mr Uluru told me.

Maybe then, this is what the “don’t climb” campaign is all about (also quoting from the management plan): “Considerable resources are dedicated to managing the climb and to related health and safety issues.

“Maintenance of the park’s vertical rescue capability requires that the numerous staff involved undertake intensive external training and regular in-house training.

“Each time an incident occurs several staff and emergency personnel are involved and helicopters are often utilised.

“Search and rescue operations in the park often require those involved to undertake some level of personal risk.”

Translation: It’s all too hard?

The park is Federally funded. It had an operating cost of $15,306,000 in 2013-14 and received external revenue of $6,778,000, largely made up of ticket sales.
The Rock: To climb or not to climb – Alice Springs News

www.alicespringsnews.com.au
www.alicespringsnews.com.au
 

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