Our needs are simple
18 January 2020
KIMBE - It all starts with individual Papua New Guineans changing our mindsets, how we see things.
Our choices must reflect our families, clans, tribes and villages - our communities, not the prime minister by himself.
James Marape needs our help, the help of simple Papua New Guineans adhering to instructions. Like our tumbunas [forebears], we are capable of doing wonders for this country of diverse cultures, the unique, special, invaluable cultures that bind us as one and so set us apart.
We are not to copy Western influences; we have the right to choose our own path. Our culture is our identity.
1 – Mining was introduced by white men for the greed of money and wealth accumulation.
2 - Oil and gas exploitation was introduced by white men for the greed of money and wealth accumulation.
3 - The requirement to have a job to sustain oneself was introduced by white men for the greed of money and wealth accumulation.
4 – Corporations were introduced by white men for the greed of money and wealth accumulation.
And the list goes on.
Now 5 – Papua New Guinean culture. Invaluable, priceless identity.
What is the point or the logic when greed for money and wealth accumulation is the goal.
Why should I be required to always have money when I do not need it all.
I know how to make a garden, plant banana suckers and taro and kaukau and kumu and yams that are healthy and 100% organic.
Our culture should be a guide to steer us through to the future and beyond, retaining everything from being a subsistence farmer to a "rocket scientist."
Posted by: Gideon Endo | 20 January 2020 at 04:44 PM
As a son of a stone age man, experiencing the beauty of cultural heritage, I tried to hold back in my naturalistic fallacy of retaining some good cultural values, norms and a belief system, but conditions do not allow.
I go with the current cultural, economic, political and ideological changes embracing modern science and technology.
I am thinking that some like minded people like Gideon might come together and form a colony of going back to the old ways of living and doing things with no problems at all.
However, culture is meant for change and we are in a global village adapting to new ways of doing things. We've got to accept the fact that we are in a new era competing with international politics, economics, education, ways of doing things and many more.
Furthermore, human rights, dignity, ethics, morality, justice and equality should complement the changes and development of this nation.
When we are in money based society we develop frustration and anger when we see things don't go right.
Capitalist monopoly creates greed and corruption and our government is supporting the transnational companies to reap and steal our resources to maintain their living standard while we run dry and feeling hopeless in own country.
Posted by: Philip Kai Morre | 18 January 2020 at 03:21 PM
The following link provides access to a very interesting article and book by Peter Harrison:
Posted by: Bernard Corden | 18 January 2020 at 02:30 PM
I am pleased to see this post given its own topic, rather than languishing as a reply to another.
Gideon has made some honest and important comments, which I hear echoed from time to time by other young Papua New Guineans.
I understand the lure of the simplistic lifestyle model (and by that, I don't mean lazy lifestyle, making gardens for sustainable food production is hard and unrelenting work), however I am also privileged to hear of many facets to this "simplistic" lifestyle and I've come to the conclusion that it's not so easily defined.
A reality is of course, that the industrialised world has come to PNG and it will not be so easy to forget nor forgo the benefits.
Gideon, you have quite rightly mentioned some of the darker aspects of the modern world and understandably, you have drawn a comparison to a utopian vision of village life, however you have tended to gloss over the many benefits of a modern world along with the constraints of the village.
Traditional village life may have survived happily for millennia, but what the modern world has introduced, apart from the negatives you mention, is better health care, education, a wider world view of other cultures, different food (do you enjoy rice?), varying cooking practices and spices, entertainment (if you call television, entertainment), music choice (there are many superb rappers in PNG and I don't think that is traditional) and instruments, better and more reliable communications, opportunity for travel and alternate social interaction, not to mention literature, a wider appreciation of art, utensils and clothing.
Yes, the emotional attraction of a simple village life is appealing, but enhance the view of village life without modern conveniences and many problems surface.
Problems like infant and child mortality, drought, flood, landslip, relationships, boredom instigated fighting, disease, lower life expectancy, cold, strict social norms along with swift and sometimes brutal justice (injustice, from time to time).
Fundamentally, I agree with you Gideon. As an Australian, I do from time to time catch myself wishing I was born a Papua New Guinean, because of the very idyllic picture you have begun to paint, however I then very quickly revert to the reality.
If that were the case, I would not have had the opportunities that I have had during my life and for that matter, I most likely would have died when I was thirteen due to appendicitis, assuming of course I made it past infancy.
I've concluded that Papua New Guinea is in a positive position at the moment. Sure, it has many obstacles to negotiate, but it is also in a position to be able to learn from the mistakes that have beset the so called developed countries.
In the energy sector as an example, PNG has some of the most viable and clean resources that will make this country a world leader, if sound and unbiased Government decides to allow it to happen. Solar, wind, geothermal and hydro can propel this country forward, offering a clean and comfortable future.
PNG is blessed with a near perfect climatic range and that wonderful volcanic soil and consistent rainfall. Couple that with renewable energy powered refrigeration and transport and throw in a long history of sustainable farming practices and one can see the possibility of PNG becoming an indispensable organic food bowl for a sizable chunk of the worlds population.
This vision is not based on the absolute rejection of all things introduced. It is based on a melding of the best of tradition and natural attributes, with the best of the introduced benefits. Importantly, it is also based on the rejection of the worst of tradition and the worst of the introduced problems.
Do you think PNG is up to the challenge? Do you think PNG could benefit or should it revert to a basic and segregated subsistence future?
Posted by: Ian Ritchie | 18 January 2020 at 09:19 AM