Where Am I From?
28 July 2016
A poem about identity and unity and the things
that make us different yet interlink us
I am from land,
from river, sea and mountain.
I am from valley and volcano,
from chilly mountain breeze and steaming lava.
I am from mother, father, uncle and aunty,
proud in traditions, passed through generations.
I am from a wild,
yet structured social organisation,
of stories untold and yet to be told,
lingering in the present and seeping to the future.
I’m from village and hauslain,
from clan, tribe and totem,
from haus tambaran and hausman.
I’m from round-house and long-house,
from haus-kuk, hausboi and hausmeri.
I’m from high covenant home and the Pineapple Building,
from Kapal Haus and Deloitte Tower.
I’m from coconut and betel nut,
from fish, magani and pig
I’m from Ox & Palm, Dolly and Diana,
from Trukai rice, lamb flap, sago and Whagi Besta
I’m from the highland and island
from the coast and atoll.
I’m from Krapehem and Gararua,
clans I have yet to make proud.
From conch shell, tavur, pig tusk and garamut,
whose wisdom I have yet to acquire.
I’m from mainline church and evangelical church,
from Catholic and Lutheran,
to SSEC, CRC, COC and AOG.
I’m from spirit and masalai,
from dukduk and tumbuan.
I’m from Mande Tuo, Datagaliwabe and Yaweh
from God-Three-One and the One-True-God,
who my ancestors knew by many names.
The mat and the laplap,
on which I sleep,
provide me no extra warmth
from freezing temperature.
But the dream that I dream,
of my forefathers’ legacy,
comforts me all my days,
until I meet them again.
I’m from Dareni Primary School and Awaba Secondary School,
from UPNG, Unitech and UOG,
from student groups,
standing and walking tall and free.
I’m from many languages and many cultures,
many actions and many words,
spoken and unspoken,
deeds done and yet to be done.
I’m from many faces and many places,
many beliefs and many voices.
I’m from only one place on earth.
I am from Papua New Guinea.
Mr Bablis is an admin on our facebook page empower yourself empower others. To see the depth of his patriot heart, please visit our page.
Posted by: tony kawas | 02 August 2016 at 08:27 PM
Unless of course we are ourselves the anthropologists or at least actively involved in studying and understanding ourselves and the foreign anthropologist becomes but a facilitator of the process.
Posted by: Gregory Bablis | 28 July 2016 at 09:23 PM
I can't think of anything worse than being the subject of an anthropologist's scrutiny Gregory. It has to be one of the most degrading experiences imaginable and is perhaps the worst aspect of what Rashmii Bell refers to as colonial superiority. Sends shivers up my spine.
Posted by: Philip Fitzpatrick | 28 July 2016 at 07:25 PM
Thank you Philip. Indeed PNG's modernity, whatever level it's currently at, should be highlighted. The world does not need to look at us anymore solely through the anthropologist's lens when they can see us through the photographer's or cameraman's lens too.
Posted by: Gregory Bablis | 28 July 2016 at 02:43 PM
good stuff to get us thinking about who we are and where we come from.
For too long we have been using what makes us different or divide us, to further divide and weaken us.
Lets use them to unite us more.
Posted by: John K Kamasua | 28 July 2016 at 02:07 PM
What you've done Gregory is encapsulate modern Papua New Guinea in a poem, that's what appeals to me, a kind of "football, meat pies and Holden cars" moment.
Posted by: Philip Fitzpatrick | 28 July 2016 at 12:43 PM
Greg, we need to explore the answer to that question throughout the world today.
Posted by: Paul Oates | 28 July 2016 at 12:14 PM
Thanks all. It's funny how the things that make us different from the rest or from each other are the same things that can unite us. How can we explore more this juxtaposition of unity through diversity? i think that's a question we need to try to answer as a country.
Posted by: Gregory Bablis | 28 July 2016 at 11:29 AM
Good stuff on this menu.
I could do with some Wahgi Besta just about now.
Posted by: Michael Dom | 28 July 2016 at 10:33 AM
'Onya Greg. Spoken like a true patriot and son of the land.
Well done mate.
Posted by: Paul Oates | 28 July 2016 at 09:52 AM
That's a great poem Gregory.
The best on Attitude I've seen for a while.
Posted by: Philip Fitzpatrick | 28 July 2016 at 08:42 AM
Great, great - proud Papua New Guinean in a nutshell.
Posted by: Daniel Kumbon | 28 July 2016 at 07:44 AM