PORT MORESBY - As our 44th independence anniversary drew to a close, I took some time to reflect on the concept of 'independence'.
What are we independent of? And from who are we independent?
Since when did we depend on others, and what did we depend on them for that we don't need to depend on them anymore?
And, anyway, are we really independent in an increasingly interdependent world?
My view is we should change the designation of Independence Day to 'National Unity Day' or simply 'Unity Day' or 'Union Day'.
These are more descriptive and meaningful to our story.
The word 'independence' irks me because of its colonial connotations.
It denotes some kind of a power pyramid which perpetuates an inferiority complex, a curse from which many Papua New Guineans suffer.
In truth, before colonisation, we were hundreds of groups of old, independent, self-sustaining and autonomous tribes.
We had well-defined social, economic and political systems that were successfully brought together as a single nation, as we know it today, on 16 September 1975.
I propose changing the designation for 16 September every year to National Union Day.
God Bless Papua New Guinea!