"Lost" Zulu tribe plays footy on reality show

Monday, June 04 2007 @ 12:06 pm ACST

Contributed by: Sean Finlayson

The popular reality television show "The Lost Tribes" on Australia's Nine Network features a group of Australian families from Sydney and Melbourne thrown across the world to remote places to experience a culture shock in tribal settings. This weekend the screened episode showed the families sharing some of their customs with their host tribes for the first time, with the Melbourne family introducing their hosts, a Zulu tribe in South Africa to Australian Football.

After some introductions to the basics using a small footy, they began a semi-structured game including umpiring and a whistle, in which the whole family participated with great enthusiasm.

During the episode, the father of the Australian family Glenn Sherry, a mad Essendon supporter, commented on the "natural skills" and that the tribesmen "picked up kicking almost straight away" and jokingly made the comment that he couldn't help thinking that Kevin Sheedy (known for his international experiments) might have missed a key recruitment area. The tribespeople appeared to have a bit tougher time learning to handball and the general rules of play, however they seemed to enjoy the game. Amongst the translated subtitles, a Zulu man was heard to say "shouldn't the ball be round - not shaped like an egg" and "I like this game", and the game was so popular that one of the tribal women joined in. At the end of the mock game, the Zulus were declared the winners.

The series has demonstrated not only that some things like sport can be a universal language, but just how important our own indigenous game is to our Australian culture.

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