Indonesia & the Pacific Islands: Definitely not yet ‘one family’
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I want to challenge people to see what's happening around them

Joseph Tambure
Joseph Tambure - "My family likes the idea of writing that will live on. It's an amazing way to preserve the present through the centuries"

JOSEPH TAMBURE

MT HAGEN - I’m from the Gende clan which nestles in the embrace of Mt Wilhelm in Usino, Bundi country. I work for the mission aviation fellowship (MAF) out of Hagen.

Poetry was my hobby during my early primary school days but I lost track of it after that until 2016.

I retrieved my early inspiration when I saw the changes happening around me

I want to challenge readers to see and feel what's happening around them.

I like to explore and express my views on environment and on people because we're all connected.

I have an ancestry of oral storytelling and my family members like the idea of writing that will live on for a long time. It's an amazing way to preserve the present through the centuries.

It's also important because we expose and express our country and people as a treasure to the outside world.

My uppermost feeling is when I know my traditional culture is preserved in writing for the coming generations. My low point is that most people are not interested.

I’m now thinking of writing a book purely on traditional matters.

My favourite poems are ‘Gende is Losing its Virginity in the Name of Development’ and ‘What a Life’, which are republished here.

Gende is losing its virginity in the name of development

Gende 1Part 1

Birds sing and dance on their dancing branches
attracting other admirers without disturbance
Wild animals roam their jungles
feeding and breeding without fear
Cold crystal clear rivers, streams and creeks flow a forever journey
without ever changing their course
Frogs croak out their deep throaty sound
and sleep without intrusion
But today everything is changing in the name of development

Gende people are peace loving
minding their own affairs with no fear
Community welfare is our responsibility
without seeking outside help 
Strangers and travellers
find free lodging without rejection 
With no doubt sharing and caring
is a gift from the people of Gende
But today everything is changing in the name of development

Gende people live healthily on the produce of their land
without worry about food shortage and water scarcity
Sickness is just ailments and flu
without spreading death 
Long sickness and death is from our spirit ancestors
it needs our attention to relationships
so we can live on without fear 
The cold climate and forever surplus
nourishes us to long life without unnecessary death
But today everything is changing in the name of development

Gende 2Part 2

Instead of birds, helicopters fly about
scattering living creatures in fear 
Wild animals seek new territory
retreating before man and machine
Frogs and insects are heard no more,
sweet melodies lost forever
Cold clear water now smelly brown with oil streaks
chemicals destroying life on their perpetual mission
All this is happening in the name of development

Gende people see an influx of people
in the villages and hamlets all races and tribes
Fresh natural delicious food
rapidly run over by junk
Unknown sicknesses have become a plague
death a common fate for the innocent
Healthy long living a blessing of the past
gone forever 
All this is happening in the name of development

Gende communities now divided
into small rival groups
Power and greed are a must
to be wealthy and gain respect 
If no strength over dominion
eviction and flight is nearby 
Cooperation and welfare so bad
crime escalating to its highest peak 
All this is happening in the name of development

Amongst these rushes and brushes now
lives a fearful and timid tribe
All speaking one language
east west, north south
Communicating through yodelling, smoke, sunbeam, flutes and kundu
is the strange language Gendeka
All this is happening in the name of development

The spirits of our ancestors are guardians of ours
and the password to making seasons wet or dry 
But their vibrant heritage is fading
Growing food crops and raising animals no more
Courtship, pig feasts and harvest revels no more
Initiations of manhood and womanhood
now things of the past and just part of history
And so I bleed silently for the love
the love of my beloved Gende land
All this is happening in the name of development

Gende 3What a Life

Born and grown up in city, a city child
Schooled and idle in city, a street child
Struggle to meet daily needs, a survivor
Jobless on streets of city, a beggar

Do I have a land of my own to plant?
Do I have a creek to drink from free?
Do I have a jungle to hunt or waters to fish?
Do I have relatives to share and care?

I'm lost in words and wonder and fear
Why was I born, what's my purpose in life
Will I achieve anything as a man?
Don't want to be a vagrant till death

My soul searches for a good solution 
High, low, deep, wide fruitless search 
Can't comprehend what's wrong with me
Don't know my destiny, don’t know who’s me
There’s no end to my search and dream

 

Comments

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Philip Fitzpatrick

Nicely said Swharz.

Swharz Sardlee

I love this poem, When people destroy the natural environment, they call it development whereas when something done to their man made environment they call it vandalism. Peoples are lost and confused. We are a slave to our own desires.

True education is not in school, in school we are taught to serve the system of man, where minority are in power controlling the majority who are struggling people but true education in order for us to see and utilize our true potential is to study the nature, but we don't have to study it by realizing that we are already everything and see ourselves in others, we are the nature.

Additionally, in my experience and observation, oral education is best compare to written caused that education is built within and become part of it whereas written, it become something separate and they will have to look for it. To confirm, see the generation today, they are lost and have no life for themselves but they all have a phone.

When we see ourselves in nature we care for it and we automatically become spiritual because we are connecting to the source, we don't need to go to church to obtain that because church are human organisation which feed on poor people tithes and offerings.

God is not in the church but in His creations. Being spiritual is being one with the nature but being religion is being confused with all sorts of different doctrines and rituals.

Bernard Corden

Another great article why cant people open you eyes and see the disguise.

The following link provides access to some fabulous material entitled Studies in a Dying Culture from the late Christopher Caudwell:

https://www.marxists.org/archive/caudwell/1938/studies/index.htm

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