Misunderstanding - a road block to peace & harmony
22 September 2015
An entry in the 2015 Rivers Award
for Writing on Peace & Harmony
This is dedicated to all the young women. Be cautious when a man tries to sweep you off your feet, for you never know what he might be trying to hide. I was told by a man from my village that, to live a peaceful and harmonious life free of violence, you need to get to know a person well. Before you act on a situation in any form of relationship, always come up with a theory to solve it peacefully.
SHE lay on the ground, her face drenched in blood. Yowo dropped the knife and ran for help. He realised he had done something terrible. Would his wife survive?
Yowo and Lasumo had been married for six years. They fell in love during a village singsing and got married six months later. Lasumo left her village to live with Yowo and his parents Yali and Magi.
At first life was good. They would do their daily chores together. But at the dawn of their fourth year of marriage, Yowo’s behaviour started to change. He would let Lasumo do the chores while he went out to enjoy himself with his friends.
One afternoon as Yowo was walking back to the house drunk, his wife ran out of the bush with a coconut shell in her hand and threw it at him. “Yowo yu wanpla man nogut, yu no save lo sidaun lo haus na mekim wok?” she bellowed with anger, “Yu useless!”
Yowo fell, hit his head and was hospitalised for two weeks. When his wife came to visit him promised her that he would never leave her side again. “Mi promis Lasumo olsem bai mi bihainim yu lo olgeta hap,” he said. “Bai me stap faithful long wonem samting mi bin promis”.
After the incident Yowo and Lasumo lived peacefully until Edwina, a lady from the neighbouring village, came on to the scene and spoilt their marriage.
In the sixth year of marriage, Lasumo found out her husband was having an affair. She burnt a rod and waited for him to come home.
Yowo walked home after his meeting with Edwina. Upon his arrival he called, “Lasumo!” When there was no reply, he continued, “Dispel biket meri we?”
Lasumo she ran out of the house with the hot rod, “Olo boi yu pamuk! Yu namba wan tu kina man insait lo displa ples!”
Yowo was so scared that he took out the bush that he was carrying and hit her on the head. When Lasumo fell, he kicked her in the face. “Yu wonem kain meri na yu laik soim strong blo yu lo mi?” he yelled as he kicked her side repeatedly.
She lay on the ground, her face drenched in blood. Yowo realised he had done a terrible thing. He dropped his knife and ran for help.
Help came later that evening, but it was too late, he lost his wife.
After serving a prison sentence, Yowo returned to the village and started to help victims of violence.
He changed the mindset of many men and youths in the village and did a lot of good for ‘gutpela sindaun’ in the village urging that mediation be used to solve problems.
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