Letter to The Editor - It can be at the same time both an Aboriginal sacred place and a shrine for all
to THE AGE
There are good arguments both for and against allowing people to climb Uluru (Letters 4/11). The practice of making pilgrimage to sacred mountains and climbing them is found all around the world; but such must not be confused with mere tourist sight-seeing. On the other hand, there are also traditions of sacred places which are taboo or not to be approached by ordinary folk - such as the Holy of Holies (only entered by the high priest) or the Kaaba (only entered by Muslims). These places act as physical testimonies of the divine mystery.
In the present case, abiding by the wishes of the current owners or guardians of Uluru may be one good way of affording recognition of our ‘first peoples’, their culture and history, which does not inequitably jeopardise the rights and welfare of others. We can still walk around it and honour its beauty and sanctity from ground level. It can be at the same time both an Aboriginal sacred place and a shrine for all.
NJ, Belgrave, Vic