We visited the Tjapukai center, one of the most popular tourist attraction in Cairns. It is claimed to be among world’s oldest living cultures, dating back over 40,000 years.

Built in the middle of the rainforest, Tjapukai is the perfect way to gain a deeper understanding of Australia’s diverse Aboriginal heritage.

We enjoyed a unique cultural experience with performance, aboriginal dance, local food and indigenous arts. There are multiple interactive sessions. We witnessed the ancient story of the Tjapukai people’s belief in the creation of the world through live performance and the most technologically advanced visual effects. Our tribal guide taught us to throw a spear and a returning boomerang.

In addition, there were demonstrations to give an insight into the gathering and cooking of bush foods and the medicinal values of native plants. They also taught us about traditional hunting methods and tribal law.

There were many talented artists who helped us make our souvenirs, creating natural rainforest style jewelry and intricate weaving.

Interestingly, the entire tour and the forests are rightfully managed by the aboriginals. The government acknowledges the tribal people for their sacrifices. In the era of globalization, the aboriginals are able to integrate themselves with rest of the society and find sources of employment. Some people have taken leadership roles in various fields and some are successful sportspersons.

We believe that similar interventions could be the next step for vanvaasis in India. This will help boost tourism, educate the tribals and gracefully accept them as part of our system.