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Subject: Your thoughts will be highly appreciated

Fr. Robert Plews Laka (Wantok System)
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Date Posted: Fri, Oct 17 2008, 07:16:29am

My dear Engans (and Papua New Guineans for those who visit Enga Wai Pii Forum)

Greetings of Peace.

I am doing a study on Wantok System in PNG and I have returned from PNG recently after collecting data. I should say, it was an experience re-lived. Being an Engan and a Papua New Guinean, I have almost taken for granted what Wantok System is. When asked by non-PNG people what it is, I used to give an answer almost everyone gives, which is favoritism, nepotism, etc. But as I press on to understand wantok system myself, it is amazing to see different peoples’ reactions to this social phenomenon call Wantok System and mind you, my friends, I found the reactions helpful.

I have gathered a considerable amount of information regarding my research problem, but I don’t want to be one sided nor bias against the other. Writing a paper on the said topic is easy with the personal knowledge and background but it is not worth it if is not an in dept study. The objective of this research is to see if wantok system can be applied positively for social change, rather then seeing it as something negative. I could be wrong, only my analysis will tell. I therefore would like to ask you, my Engan learned and my fellow citizens of PNG, if you could kindly spare me some of your very precious time to express your PERSONAL VIEWS on what wantok system is. You are not obliged to if you are busy, my friend. But to those who wish to express their views, the following questions might give you some hint:

1. What is wantok system?
2. Why is it practiced?
3. How is wantok related to socio-economic and spiritual
development, and
4. What is your understanding of development?

Please don’t force yourself if you are extremely busy and my friends, you are also not obliged to answer them, though, your thoughts would be highly appreciated. Who knows, one of our own children might later on have access to the views you contribute now, which might be seen differently 20 years from now.

Please include your full name, gender, address and your occupation. You may send your thoughts to my email address: rplewlakasvd@gmail.com

I will surely respond back to you upon receiving your email and be sure that I that I will include your name on my list of acknowledgment.

Friends, your contribution is worth a thousand thanks. “Knowledge is of value if only it is shared, rather then keeping it” – Plato.

May God bless you abundantly for your views.

Your brother and friend I remain.

Fr. Robert Plews Laka

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