Democracy Challenged
Let the B-word run free: seeking bold action for PNG women

Home-grown literature creates a sense of national identity


‘Gummi’ Fridriksson is the CEO and a director of Paga Hill Development Company and both he and the company have been great supporters of literature in PNG. Without their early sponsorship of My Walk to Equality this landmark publishing project would have been much more difficult to accomplish. He made these remarks at last Wednesday’s book launch….

THE Paga Hill Development Company is very proud to be able to support such an important publication and event.

We wholeheartedly congratulate the authors, all women of Papua New Guinea, on the significant milestone achievement of My Walk to Equality.

Their stories are now proudly published for current and future generations to enjoy and learn from and gain inspiration from.

I have been asked to say a few words about our commitment to home-grown literature.

While I am now a proud Australian, I was born in Iceland where original stories, poems and sagas were very much part of our school curriculum.

Reading these stories helped us very much to understand our history, our heritage, the trials and tribulations of our ancestors, while inspiring us to achieve our goals and become the best people we can.

The term ‘voices and values’ is often used to describe what home-grown literature brings to a nation. The voices are the many women, men and children that tell their stories.

While their experiences hopes and dreams are all unique, they often are consistent with the views, hopes and dreams of the people around them. Publishing those thoughts, however often helps others to crystalise their own thoughts and aspirations.

Values or social norms are what guide individual, family, tribe or nation. These differ and evolve and sometimes for the better and sometimes for worse.

Documenting them through home-grown literature helps us all understand the culture and traditions of a place and also evaluate when things are getting out of hand and when they are improving.

With homegrown storytelling comes a sense of identity, being literature that tells local and national stories.

Without local and diverse storytelling, a country will struggle to articulate its own history. This is a foundational element and as such cannot be written by outsiders.


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