Rose Kekedo’s string of firsts
Eulogy in honour of the late Sir Mek

A cultural setback

Lazy cultureHAZEL KUTKUE
| Sipikriva Girl Blog

BRAUN - One of the last frontiers unconquered. Even the attitudes and the ‘bad’ cultures are unconquered.

We have out here, a culture of time-wasting, bad, almost disrespectful attitudes among the whole population.

The exceptions are the uncorrupted mind of babies and toddlers; free from the influences that will later shape them into also corrupted adults.

People tend to think corruption is clustered somewhere among the grounds of Waigani, where politicians are based.

People embody corruption as pot-bellied, double-chinned men in dark suits sitting in swivel chairs on a green carpet.

But, they never realise the real roots of corruption. It’s all in the culture.

Ours is a culture that encourages us to be lazy. Our people think handouts are the way to go. Free money for doing nothing, burnt in a day on binge drinking and binge shopping.

Story telling hours on end, not minding the minutes and the seconds. No! There’s tomorrow, people say, there’s time.

In our culture, we are content with the way things are. We don’t worry about a broken louvre, a dirty front porch, a dirty front yard and the old chair we could repaint.

Everything is okay. We are content with the way things are. Ours is a culture that is satisfied with the lowest quality of anything.

Ours is a culture that says girls are second best. Women can say this or that only after the men speak. Women do not do things as perfectly as men. Men can do these things and women cannot.

How pathetic a culture. How sad. A culture so negative, so destructive, and yet we feed it. Yet we fatten it. Yet we embrace it.

What is to blame? Our ancestors? Maybe not, their times were so much different.

Ours is a changing world. Our culture should be evolving for the better. Yet we are stuck. Stuck in a rut, digging holes to get out but in fact digging graves.

What if, after reading this, you decide not to be content with the way things are? What if you decide to wake at 6am each day and clean out the muck of yesterday? What if you decide to never waste a minute?

Will our culture then be a less corrupt one? Will it?

Comments

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Philip Kai Morre

Some of our cultural practices are against universally accepted morality and we have to do away with them.

Other cultural practices are against Christian principles like polygamy and polyandry, and cause more problems.

Some of our cultural beliefs, like witchcraft or sanguma, have to be eliminated because they are false beliefs or conspiracy theories that undermine human dignity and rights to be free from all sorts of cultural prejudice.

There is no scientific proof that shows witchcraft as a cause and effects of sickness and deaths.

We need a culture of respect, responsibility, trust, love and concern for others.

We need to avoid what is evil and embrace what is good.

Laziness is a poison and makes people live in the dreamworld.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Emphasising the good in our cultures and downplaying the bad may be a good strategy in terms of presenting a positive example for others to follow i.e. leading by example.

Its one of the things politicians seem incapable of doing.

Chris Overland

I find it curious that culture and its impact on how a nation is governed or how it impacts upon the economy or life generally is an apparently taboo subject.

It seems to be too delicate a topic to discuss even for our routinely indelicate political class.

Thus many Americans loudly protest that the people who stormed the Capitol building are "not who we are" when, in fact, history suggests that it is indeed who they are.

An anti-government and rabid libertarian outlook has long been a feature of the USA. Trump has merely tapped into this for his own advantage.

Hazel Kutkue writes that Papua New Guineans are effectively stuck in a cultural hole, one which is helping both create and nurture a rampantly corrupt culture in many spheres of society.

She is right but very, very few people are going to be willing to admit this. Like the Americans they will cry "this is not who are'. At one level that is true too but I think that both things are true and exist simultaneously.

Culture, rather like God is supposed to be, is in us and around us all the time. It is just that we never seems to notice this.

For this reason the bad things in our various cultures can persist largely unacknowledged and unchallenged. The bad things are just too painful or shameful to openly admit to their existence or, if we do, we describe them as aberrations, not the logical outgrowth of our cultures. This is true of all cultures, not just that of PNG.

In that sense, we all live a perpetual lie, preferring to emphasise the good in our cultures and avoiding admitting our collectively culpability for the bad.

This tendency has been the source of enormous suffering and grief over the centuries and, sadly, seems likely to be so again in the future.

So I congratulate Dr Kutkue for stating the truth. Sadly, no-one will be listening.

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