Sil Bolkin - "The names I chose for my children are saintly names from Simbu" (Simbu Children Foundation)
KELA KAPKORA SIL BOLKIN
PORT MORESBY - Duncan Gabi must be thanked for raising the issue of 'decolonising the mind'.
I am a practicing Roman Catholic but all my eight children have traditional Simbu and Aroma Coast names.
When I took my first two children to the priest to enrol for baptism, the priest asked for their names.
Continue reading "You will not colonise my children’s names" »
Derived from the short story, ‘The Old Man, His Wife and the Young Girl’, adapted from Daniel Kumbon’s book, ‘Survivor: Alive in Mum’s Loving Arms’ available here from Amazon
FICTION - Rosemary and the Old Man had come across the girl a couple of years before when she sent a random text message to his mobile phone pleading for financial assistance.
The girl claimed to be thirteen and wanting to complete her primary education.
Continue reading "Love, grief & the Old Man’s dilemma" »
She smells of Goroka coffee
in the perfume she wears each morning
What a beautiful way to start a day
Made of strawberry and honey
It’s difficult to resist her charms
Hooked on her explosive personality
A taste of wine in her presence
Spending more time with her
Leads to loving her even more
It’s difficult not to laugh at her jokes
Or her wicked sense of humour
She’ll get you thinking, she never cries
Continue reading "Mud Woman" »
Segment of screenprint, 'The life and death of Imbakey Okuk' by Mathias Kauage (1987)
KELA KAPKORA SIL BOLKIN
PORT MORESBY - At the dawn of time, all humans were born to toil the earth for sustenance until they grew grey hairs and died of old age.
But this is not always the case.
Some few dudes and lasses are born into a dome of privilege and have never have sweat on their brows before old age strikes and they dutifully depart.
Continue reading "Cash-craving relatives shun death traditions" »
John Kuri and daughters. "It still amazes me when each year politicians and bureaucrats announce that more than half of school leavers will have to fend for themselves"
PORT MORESBY - The newspaper headline late last year said that only 9,000 out of 27,000 Grade 12 leavers would get a place in a tertiary institution.
We’ve all seen headlines like this previously in Papua New Guinea. They happen each year.
Along with a story about the imminent disaster waiting to happen if the government doesn’t do more.
Continue reading "School leavers: Containing the blast" »
MAJELLA DIULEN SOALILI
A tribute to the Grand Chief
Sir Michael Thomas Somare
In the midst of the battlefield
Stood a Hero
Who had a heart of Gold and
A mind full of dreams.
He fought without fear.
But with the stoutest
Of weapons: Confidence, Courage
and such great Determination
Continue reading "The Hero" »
Covid testing in Port Moresby (Matt Cannon St John's Ambulance PNG)
| CoronaCheck | RMIT ABC Fact Check
MELBOURNE - As a wave of coronavirus cases in PNG threatens to spill over into Australia, experts are sounding a warning about online misinformation in the Pacific nation.
Amnesty International has lambasted Australia and New Zealand for what the group's Pacific researcher, Kate Schuetze, called a "woefully inadequate" response to the pandemic.
Continue reading "Misinformation fuels Covid surge in PNG" »
TUMBY BAY - Many writers, especially creative writers, use fiction and poetry as a kind of therapy.
For these people, and I’m one of them, writing about matters of concern or anxiety - be they personal, political or otherwise - can be as effective as visiting a psychiatrist or some similar therapist.
Continue reading "Now here's something: Writing as therapy" »
The mountain stream is young and sometimes reckless
From a tiny trickle, vexed and irritated, looks for outlet
After the rainbow when the storm rests up on the hills
He rushes down ravines and gullies, his fist full of water
This irate adolescent behind cover of the storm and bush
Surges down knocking and swiping at rocks, soil and roots
Continue reading "The Irate Adolescent" »
| Aunamelo | Edited
PORT MORESBY - While many people think decolonisation means just breaking away from colonisers and getting political independence, there’s more to it than the average mind can ever comprehend.
I am not going to write on political or economic decolonisation but on cultural decolonisation which I believe is the first step to take in the decolonisation process.
Continue reading "Decolonisation & the changing of our names" »
| Duresi’s Odyssey | Edited
AUCKLAND - Last week I saw much social media commentary by fellow Papua New Guineans following a newspaper article on the supply of Covid-19 vaccines to PNG and other countries by GAVI.
GAVI is an international organisation that was established to improve access to vaccines for countries like PNG that are considered to be low income.
Continue reading "Covid vaccines & social media disinformation" »
KOIVI R BIWA
Once no cries were heard nor bitter tears shed,
This time when ancients and babes mingled calm,
Love and respect were their constant companions,
When no one stood bewildered by enmity or anger
But it happened that the tuneful war cries sounded,
Heard, known, accepted by all far and near,
Wigmen danced fluidly to the beat of the kundu,
Warrior elegance betrayed the combat ahead
Continue reading "The Perpetual Tears of Hela" »
ADELAIDE - There are two observations I wish to make about Keith Jackson’s story on Australia’s response to the Covid crisis in Papua New Guinea.
The first is that the Australian government has yet to grasp the scale of the disaster unfolding in PNG and, consequently, has yet to realise that only a truly massive intervention by Australia (perhaps with the help of New Zealand) will ensure a timely and comprehensive implementation of a national vaccination program.
Continue reading "Canberra’s approach to PNG seems hapless" »
Mathias Kauage - Independence celebration 4, 1975 (National Gallery of Australia)
Bik nem lidasip
Papa bilong yu
Emi gat bikpela nem turu
Long olgeta hap ples mi raun
Mi ken i harim ol manmeri
Litimapim nem bilong em
Taim oli toktok long ol kainkain wok
Emi bin mekim long en
Continue reading "An original poem in Tok Pisin & English" »
| New York Times | Extract
Link here for the full story in the New York Times
PORT MORESBY - The emergency rooms are heaving, health care workers are falling sick, and misinformation about the coronavirus is running rife.
It has all left Papua New Guinea, an island nation just north of Australia, in the grip of a deadly crisis, as a tripling of infections over the past month has swamped an already fragile health care system.
Continue reading "Zero for months; now PNG overwhelmed" »
The Australian government got enormous media coverage for what was little more than this public relations exercise. Its real response to PNG's Covid crisis is woeful
NOOSA – Some of the most important windows into the operations of the federal government in Australia government are provided by Senate Estimates Committees.
The title may sound unexciting, but these committees – established to enable Senators twice a year to quiz government departments on how they are spending public money – provide a unique opportunity to allow Senators to determine how the government is operating.
Continue reading "Senate reveals Oz neglect of PNG Covid crisis" »
TUMBY BAY - Papua New Guinea kiaps who ventured into new areas, or areas that had only recently been contacted, became acutely aware of the value villagers placed on items that otherwise would have been thrown away.
These included tin cans, glass jars, bottles and cardboard boxes with brightly coloured exteriors.
Continue reading "Junking our way to extinction" »
| Duresi’s Odyssey | Edited
AUCKLAND – There have been many questions asked about the four Covid-19 vaccines approved for use to date in many countries.
In response I have compiled some important information on them in the table below.
Continue reading "Brief information on Covid-19 vaccines" »
PHILIP KAI MORRE
KUNDIAWA - Drug problems and their associated risks are of pandemic proportions in Papua New Guinea and affect hundreds of thousands of people.
The criminal activities associated with illicit drugs cost human lives, affect businesses and damage our social cohesion.
Continue reading "A pathway towards a drug free society" »
Bryan Kramer MP - engaged in a struggle to ensure the people of PNG take up vaccines in the face of a virulent social media campaign against them
BRYAN KRAMER MP
| Kramer Report
Social media in Papua New Guinea has been running hot with false information about Covid vaccine, with the rumours fed by fear mongers, conspiracy theorists, religious objectors, mystics, political opportunists, self-styled ‘experts’ and plain old troublemakers.
Many politicians, some of whom have had the disease, have spoken out strongly against those people who are undermining vaccination. But there’s one MP who can’t do that: Richard Mendani, 53, the member for Kerema, who died of the disease on Friday.
In this article Justice Minister Bryan Kramer (who has recovered from Covid), continues to try to bring science and sense to the people he calls ‘Covidiots’ - KJ
Continue reading "Covidiots and fake news swamp social media" »
FICTION - I walked slowly, dragging my legs. This was some monster weekend hangover. The taste of beer still hung on the inner roof of my mouth.
My tongue stroked it with my saliva and then I swallowed the residue down my throat.
I felt I didn’t have enough strength to go to work but pushed myself anyway.
Continue reading "A little bit more more than a hangover" »
| Ples Singsing
LAE - I had been following Caroline Evari’s poems on PNG Attitude for some time and was very glad to see her publish ‘Nanu Sina: My Words’ in 2019.
The book is presented in four sections: Conflicts, Relationships, Hope, and Family.
Continue reading "The observations of Caroline Evari" »
Michael Dom - "People think English is the only language ‘good enough’ to demonstrate their capacity to write creatively. This is a silly notion that needs to change in order for PNG to really have a thriving creative writing culture"
NOOSA – Michael Dom, an established and most readable poet, has in recent years occasionally delved into the intricacies of translating his poetry between English, Tok Pisin and Hiri Motu.
Translation of this kind is a high art because it goes beyond the literal into often complex metaphors that do not translate readily from one language to another.
Continue reading "Tok Pisin’s emergence as a literary language" »
Great writers and great friends, the late Francis Nii and Daniel Kumbon at the 2016 Brisbane writers festival
An edited extract from ‘The old man, his wife & the young girl’, a short story in Daniel’s book, ‘Survivor: Alive in Mum’s Loving Arms’, available from Amazon at this link for $16.26 (paperback) or $1.26 (Kindle) - KJ
WABAG - Akali Wakane had met Rosemary at university – he was a law student and she an arts student majoring in social work.
At the time he claimed her as his soulmate, they were both in their second year of study.
Continue reading "Love, death, old age & other mysteries" »
| PNGi Forests
PORT MORESBY - For more than 25 years, deep in the remote and inaccessible tropical forests of Papua New Guinea, a huge industrial complex has been operating.
Foreign owned companies have been bulldozing tracks, felling huge trees, cutting logs and dragging them to the coast to be loaded onto ships and sent overseas.
Continue reading "New website reveals secrets of the loggers" »
People in the Torres Strait islands just south of PNG are already being vaccinated
BRYAN KRAMER MP
| Kramer Report
PORT MORESBY - After recently being infected and having recovered from Covid-19, I’m not considered high risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from the virus.
I do not require the immediate protection of the vaccine. So why will I take it?
Continue reading "Covid: Hundreds of thousands ill, some seriously" »
CLEVELAND QLD - The widening credibility gap between Canberra and Papua New Guinea is not just about how aid is or has been previously spent.
PNG Attitude and others of us have been banging on about this problem for years and getting nowhere.
Continue reading "Some truths to Canberra about PNG Covid" »
NOOSA – The inaugural Tingting Bilong Mi [My Opinion] essay contest for Papua New Guinean writers under the age of 35 resulted in some great writing.
The contest was the brainchild of Dr Michael Dom and the ‘Mastermind’ team and the topic asked the young writers to expound on the subject of whether the PNG government should set its mind to encouraging and supporting home-grown literature.
Continue reading "Essay contest delivered some useful lessons" »
PATRICK LEVO & KEITH JACKSON
PORT MORESBY – On behalf of the Ples Singsing Blog, and having cast our tired but sparkling eyes over the organisation of the Tingting Bilong Mi essay contest, we are ready to announce the winners of this inaugural competition.
And they are all women.
Continue reading "Women triumph in first essay contest" »
ILLEANA MALDOA DOM
Winning entry in Ples Singsing Blog Essay Contest edited for publication by Keith Jackson
The last time I entered my now former school library was in November last year during one of the last Language and Literature classes of my high school career.
Continue reading "Local authors need recognition & support" »
Yesterday was International Poetry Day and Papua New Guinea’s unofficial poet laureate, Michael Dom, hauled out his trusted, rusted, almost busted Olivetti typewriter to do justice to the occasion with a salute to Bob Dylan’s renowned 1962 protest song, 'Blowin’ in the Wind' - KJ
How many books may a Maserati buy
Before it rusts in a shed
How many crooks make a government bad
Before it gets through our heads
Yes, and how many times may a prime minister lie
Before we know he's a thief
Those politicians are blowin’ smoke up our arses
They're blowin’ smoke right up our arses
Continue reading "They’re blowin’ smoke up our arses" »
Kavali, Somare, Chan and Guise in 1973 - independence leaders whose idealism was compromised by the realities and opportunities of government
| John Menadue’s Pearls & Irritations
Published as 'On the death of PNG’s first MP, Sir Michael Somare'
MELBOURNE - The death of Sir Michael Somare, first prime minister of Papua New Guinea, has occasioned an outpouring of national grief and heartfelt obituaries for ‘the Father of the Nation’, ‘the Chief’.
That he was, and remains, widely respected, even loved, across the country is beyond dispute.
Continue reading "The death of Somare & the descent of PNG" »
Simon Pentanu - 'Covid is not nice. I would not wish it on anyone'
SIMON PENTANU MP
BUKA – It is not a conspiracy. It is not fake. It does not choose between nationalities, race or countries. Covid-19 is in Papua New Guinea, including Bougainville.
After an agonising three days from its symptoms, my test 48 hours ago returned to confirm that I am Covid-19 positive.
Continue reading "Covid-19: real, serious, agonising & here" »
ERYK BAGSHAW & RACHEL CLUN
with BEVAN SHIELDS
| Sydney Morning Herald | Extracts
SYDNEY - Two of Australia’s top infectious disease and immunology experts say Papua New Guinea should take up the offer of Chinese-made vaccines if they are safe, as Europe threatens to withhold vaccine deliveries and PNG teeters on the edge of a Covid-19 disaster.
China has made repeated overtures to Papua New Guinea in recent months, offering to send vaccines to the country to “support each other’s core interests”.
Continue reading "Call for PNG to accept Chinese vaccines" »
| National Democratic Institute | Extract
Link here to the full report
The National Democratic Institute (NDI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental organisation that since its founding in 1983 has worked with local partners to support and strengthen democratic institutions and practices and promote citizen participation in government
WASHINGTON - Women are historically underrepresented in politics in the Pacific Islands; Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands are no exception.
At the same time, women in all three countries experience shocking levels of violence, in the home and in public.
Continue reading "Dealing with violence against women in politics" »
TUMBY BAY - It’s ironic that in his death Michael Somare seems to have united Papua New Guinea in a way that he could never achieve while he was alive.
Some of this is owed to the cult of the haus krai but more is owed to the nation’s overwhelming need for a universal hero who can be celebrated across all language and tribal groups.
Continue reading "The mythologising of Michael Somare" »
A Philippines double outrigger canoe (Mariners Museum, Virginia, USA)
CAPTAIN STEVEN JOLLY
ALI ISLAND - I want to share with you all a special tribute to our late great Great Grand Chief Sir Michael T Somare with a short story from my home, Ali Island in the Aitape District of Sandaun Province.
During the childhood years of our Great Grand Chief at Rabaul during World War II, a late gentleman by the name of Makarius Menik from Jaltaleouw village on Ali Island, with some of his fellow comrades, sailed out of Rabaul to Murik in a traditional double outrigger canoe.
Continue reading "Remembered: Michael Somare’s escape from Rabaul" »
GEMBA RAYMOND DEWANE
Dedicated to Lady Veronica Somare
I could have found a man in a million
But faith has found me millions in a man
I have no idea what was in your mind
I just kept faith in your constant gravity
You raised your country, I raised your family
Sana, now I understand your dream
Continue reading "Sana, Now I Understand Your Dream" »
Women's March 4 Justice in Canberra on Monday
SYDNEY - There were no mixed messages about violence against women from Australia’s former foreign minister Julie Bishop when she launched the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s gender equality and women's empowerment strategy in early 2016.
“It's insidious, it's endemic in some parts of our region and we have done a great deal to shine a light on it and to find ways that we can tackle it,” Ms Bishop unequivocally stated.
Continue reading "Violence against women: an Australian failure" »
Writers Baka Bina, Daniel Kumbon and Jimmy Drekore, Gembogl, Simbu Province, 2016
WABAG - I have published many books based on facts and actual events, but I haven’t yet attempted a novel.
I guess one road to writing a novel is to first publish short stories.
I attempted a short story just once. It’s included in one of my books, ‘Survivor: Alive in Mum’s Loving Arms’. The title of the fictional tale is the title of this piece.
Continue reading "The old man, his wife & the young girl" »
I came from my father’s spear
This spear came down generations
He alone could hold this spear
From his father and father’s father
As a man amongst his people
His spear gave me name and place
This spear fought during times of war
This spear talked in times of peace
Continue reading "My Spear and My Bilum" »
St John’s Ambulance member sanitises hands at Covid testing at Taurama Aquatic Centre (Kalolaine Fainu - The Guardian)
| Guardian Australia
PORT MORESBY - At Port Moresby General Hospital, about 20% of women presenting in labour have symptoms of Covid-19. Of these, about one-third (four to five women a day) test positive.
We get the test results back about two to three hours after we take the swabs, so often by the time the woman is delivering her baby it is too late to transfer her to the Covid isolation ward for the birth.
Continue reading "Mola: Soon people could die in parking lots" »
Medical staff at a health clinic (Alex Ellinghausen)
ADELAIDE - It is little short of astounding that the Australian government has, until now at least, utterly failed to grasp the potential scale of the catastrophe looming on our door step.
Once again, our government has been effectively "asleep at the wheel" when it comes to what he terms “our Pacific family".
Continue reading "Covid in PNG: I hope Canberra understands" »
Port Moresby residents line up at Rita Flynn sports complex to get Covid tests (Kalolaine Fainu - The Guardian)
| Guardian Australia | Extracts
SYDNEY - Papua New Guinea could have received Covid-19 vaccines before its current crisis if Australia had not been part of a group of countries that blocked a proposal to free up access to Covid-19 medicines, say Médecins Sans Frontières Australia.
“There’s no doubt [if] the intellectual property waiver had been hastened and scaled at an earlier time there was a higher probability that PNG would have been able to get vaccines [by now],” Jennifer Tierney, Executive Director of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Australia said.
Continue reading "MSF: Australia blocked early PNG vaccine" »
Australia's foreign minister Payne and prime minister Morrison at this morning's media conference in Canberra (Channel 9)
| Transcribed by Peacifica | Edited
Peacifica supports and advocates peacebuilding in the South Pacific. Its philosophy is that building and sustaining peaceful societies is a critical challenge that Pacific islanders and Australians can meet together. Read more about Peacifica here
CANBERRA – What follows are the major points from a media conference this morning addressed by Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison, foreign minister Marise Payne and chief health officer Dr Paul Kelly.
The event was attended by Peacifica and its transcription has been edited for publication by PNG Attitude.
Continue reading "Oz announces urgent Covid help to PNG" »
TUMBY BAY - If you write books, people will seek you out.
They will write letters to you, send you emails and come knocking at your door.
Even my abject and humble efforts have had that effect.
When I lived in Hervey Bay, Queensland, it was a regular occurrence.
I’m not talking about a deluge, but every few months I’d be sought out.
I thought our move to the relatively remote west coast of South Australia would put an end to that. But it hasn’t been the case.
Continue reading "The secret public life of an author" »
Once I heard the fire talk
He talked in my lifetime
This grand man in the fire
That coughed and crackled
His voice lit up the dark
While embers danced the night
His voice in the leaping flames
That could be seen from afar
I listened into the night
For I was mesmerised
I put in more tinder wood
And I sat there and listened
Continue reading "Man in the Fire" »
Hon Scott Morrison MP
SCOTT MORRISON MP
Motion to acknowledge the life and service of the late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare delivered in the Parliament of Australia by Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison on 16 March 2021, as recorded in Hansard.
CANBERRA - Mr Speaker, I move that this House acknowledge the passing on the 26th of February 2021 of Papua New Guinea Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and place on record its gratitude of his long-standing and respected relationship with Australia and tender its profound sympathy to his family in their bereavement.
Continue reading "Australia records gratitude to Grand Chief" »
Jim Taylor - artwork from Port Moresby Craft Market, 1996 (Pacific Manuscripts Bureau)
The Sky Travellers by Bill Gammage, Melbourne University Press (1994). ISBN 9780522848274. 348 pages. Paperback $49.99
NORTHUMBRIA, UK - A re-examination of Professor Bill Gammage’s book, The Sky Travellers, published by Melbourne University Press in 1994, is timely.
It is especially relevant now given that many Papua New Guineans want to know more about their early colonial history and the attitudes of those who made it.
Continue reading "Of white supremacists & the ‘kanakamen’" »
BRENDAN CRABB & LEANNE ROBINSON
| The Conversation | Edited extracts
MELBOURNE - The COVID epidemic in Papua New Guinea has significantly accelerated, judging by the available reports of case numbers.
Since its first case was diagnosed 12 months ago, PNG has avoided a large number of reported cases and corresponding deaths.
Continue reading "PNG Covid catastrophe: Australia must act" »