Highs and lows of Nimbin.
The area around Nimbin is beautiful and one can see why people would want live there. The climate is mild, the land is lush and fertile. Back in the 70s a mixture of people took up residence in the area. There were environmentally conscious people; people interested in permaculture, sustainability and hippie types. They started their communes; they protested and succeeded in stopping rain forest logging in the state of N.S.W.
The indigenous people of Australia had a life style that had no detrimental effect on the environment for tens of thousands of years. Then the white man came and discovered Australia or should I say invaded it as Australia was already inhabited by perhaps the oldest race on earth. The invaders cleared and plundered the land, their cattle polluted the streams and the aboriginal way of life was stamped out. The materialistic commercial system favored a few and created hardship for others.
Some forward thinking people and lots of dreamers thought there had to be a better way. These people formed communes and struggled to establish a life in line with their Hippie ideals. The Hippies were those Vietnam protesters, women’s rights movement, peace and unbinding love advocates. Love based on one’s honor instead of a binding legal document.
In America the pot smoking, long-haired Hippies made the headlines. Morally depraved, sabotaging Christian values. They were easy pickings for the negative news stirs. They were a threat to the American way of life. Folk singing Hippies were ‘Blown in the wind’ by a record company deal and the beads and colourful dress became commercialized into a fashion statement. Bob Dillon went electric and commerce thrived.
1973 the Aquarius Festival was held in Nimbin. Nimbin was put on the map as the first place in Australia to allow communal land title and became know as ‘The Alternative Lifestyle Capital. The media dubbed it “The Drug Capital of Australia”. As usual the negative is stressed because it is sensational and sells papers and advertising.
Cannabis can never be made legal it would put the breweries out of business. There would be dropouts in education, absenteeism would rise in the work force. The incentive drive would be replaced by an optimistic laid-back, could not care less attitude. Home gardens of non taxable herbal roll your own would flourish. The whole grasping commercial system would go to pot.
Nimbin and the surrounding area is a sight well worth a visit, if your intentions are to enjoy the arts and crafts and the natural beauty. I have visited Nimbin over a number of years and found it to be a quiet little village. The local people are an assortment of friendly kind individuals.
If you go to Nimbin, or anywhere for that matter, with selfish intentions of gratifying your wanting ego, you will be disappointed. Nimbin is a quiet peaceful village under normal conditions. You can still wear your recycled cloths and a flower in your hair the locals will not mind or you can buy some new colourful hand-made cloths in Nimbin. If you want imitation faded, frayed and worn jeans you may have to go to an up market store in the city.
I enjoyed this visit and did not leave without a sample of the local generosity. I was given four posters, one poster I gave to Pauline, I gave the others to people who like colourful fun posters and may care to go to the event.