In tennis, we have often witnessed non-traditional award ceremonies where the respective host country seeks to reveal some of its national culture, but only in Adelaide can we see an elder present the cup to the champion. Yesterday, Novak Djokovic clinched his 92nd career title, defeating Sebastian Korda in the final, before being personally honored by a representative of a local Aboriginal tribe.
This is Major Lancelor Sumner, who is better known in Australia as Uncle Mugi. He is an elder of the Ngarinderi tribe of Coorong, South Australia, striving to preserve Aboriginal culture, customs and history and pass it on to future generations. Uncle Mugi wants to show Australians that Aboriginal culture preaches sharing with others and working together for the good of the whole community. He is also popular for his contribution to public life in the areas of health, social welfare and the cultural heritage of indigenous Aboriginal people.
For another year, Uncle Mugi was invited to the award ceremony in Adelaide, and as soon as he stepped on the court, he was loudly applauded by the spectators in the stands, after which he performed a ritual to “cleanse” the trophies of negative energy. The ritual was highly appreciated by Djokovic, who during his championship speech thanked Uncle Mugi for his presence at the ceremony:
“I want to say that it was a very special moment to be blessed by one of the indigenous people who have been on these lands for thousands of years. Thank you for bringing your culture and history back in time, it’s really inspiring. I hope see you next year!”.
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