Australia is now to the south of us. We’re in Indonesia, in Bali. Life here is different, there’s a richness to the simplicity and the slower pace has been a blessing to us all. Leaving Australia felt like an extraction that caught me a little off guard. Our daughters screams echoed my inner pain as we waited to hear if we would be allowed to board the plane as she had fallen moments earlier and bitten a large gash in her tongue. After several senior members of staff had checked her over we were able to board and relieve the full flight that the potential delay from our incident had been resolved.
The space here to simply be has provoked new reflections on this current journey and I had a feeling a few days ago that I’d like to reflect on; it was a longing to be where I was born, surrounded by previous generations and my own culture and family and on the soil that my soul belongs to. It was a longing for the search to be over, for my children to be being raised in an ancient culture that I as their mother could pass on in a safe and secure ‘home’, it was a longing for home. My family history is a displaced one, seeing jews forced from their homes and dispersing throughout the world and more recently an immigration to the other side of the world.
It was ironic that we found ourselves in front of the documentary ‘Schooling The World’ several days later. This documentary had a lot to say on a very similar matter. The well filmed, powerful yet light hearted documentary follows the journey primarily of Indian children being sent off to school in the big cities. Leaving behind their families and culture, parents are choosing this option over and above passing on deep rooted traditions and custodianship of family land. Women so rich in tradition and skills in self sustainability are seen describing ‘educated’ kids as unable to do anything, “they just stand with their hands in their pockets, they cant work the fields.” and the ‘educated’ children are filmed describing their longing to return to their roots. The divide is deep, the happy farming women regard themselves as knowing nothing and children after 13 years of indoctrination are dumped, lost. The documentary highlighted the deception of education in the western schooling system and the tragedy of this. The depression rates, the shiny futures promised that don’t eventuate, the search for happiness in money and possessions and the disconnection from roots.
I have often thought about my education as something that I have had to ‘un-do’ over the past 10 years, letting go of the beliefs about my self and my worth that were formed during this troubled time. This film resonated with me yet left me feeling overwhelmed. The vision to start a school took a big knock. Could any ‘school’ really serve a child ‘correctly’? Is it possible and fair to raise children outside of the western bubble that they will inevitably at some point have to navigate? Is it possible with all its ‘shine’ to show children another way? and is it possible to create another way when my own relationship to culture and land is one I’m still trying to reestablish?
Having sat with these questions for several days now I am no closer to understanding their effect on our vision. I do however trust in everything that is showing itself on this journey as having a place in the clarity that I anticipate will come.
Find out more about the documentary Schooling The World here