February 2006

The original Heidelberg Mall

The Bell St Mall was established in 1956 to co-incide with the Melbourne Olympics. It was for the athletes who were staying in the nearby Olympic Village. After the event the Village was handed over to the Housing Commission to provide low rent housing for disadvantaged families.

Heidelberg Mall renewed #3

“What’s that music” she asked the shop keeper as the two perfectly pitched singers passed the phrases from one to the other.

He answered by asking another question, “are you religious?”

“No”, she replied truthfully after an embarrassing moment, “but I was brought up a Christian”, she said as an after thought.

“Well you know how you have a Bible that teaches you lessons?” he said, “this music is the 114 lessons of the Koran. It is in Arabic.

I used to understand all of it because I learnt Arabic at school in Somalia. But I stopped going to school because of civil war in my country.

Now I have forgotten so much”, he continued.

“I wish I had more time to learn again and understand more of what is being said, but instead I am always busy, busy so I just listen to this recording and enjoy it like music”.

A different language

“What does that say”, she said to a group of students that were standing outside the English language school in Flinders Lane. “We don’t know” one of them said, “we speak Korean”.