| ABC Pacific Mornings | Extract
MELBOURNE - A performance at the Port Moresby headquarters of oil giant Exxon Mobil has sparked controversy in Papua New Guinea, with some locals saying the show disrespected their culture.
The video posted on Twitter shows a man painted brown and dressed in the traditional clothing of PNG's Tolai people while dancing around in celebration ahead of Monday's 44th independence day.
The man performs a version of a traditional dance and the crowd can be heard laughing and cheering.
It is understood the performance was part of an "adopt an expat" event that pairs PNG and international staff, in a bid to celebrate local culture.
But members of the local Tolai community told the ABC that they felt the performance "didn't display appropriate respect for our culture".
"For a foreigner to just dress up, walk up, and just dance somehow, without understanding the real meaning [of the ritual] — it's offensive," Tolai woman Janet Sios said.
Ms Sios is the founder of PNG Fashion Week and has spent years working to get better recognition of traditional cultures.
She said her concern centres on the fact that the performance does not recognise the sacred nature of the dance and costume.
The Tolai woman told the ABC that she was disappointed Exxon Mobil allowed the event to happen, but she does not hold it against the person dancing in the video.