|Subject: Culture and identity
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Date Posted: Fri, Jan 12 2007, 07:50:31pm
In reply to:
's message, "Sings of a Dying Rich Engan Culture" on Fri, Jan 12 2007, 09:51:02am
Great topic for discussion!
I myself have been pondering about the exact issue and would also like to share my thoughts.
I am one of those you might call "Enga lon name tasol", basically because I grew up in Wewak, Lae, POM and Rabaul because my dad was with the defence force so naturally we had to move where-ever his posting was. My wife is part Central/Miline Bay and ENBP and and the issue of identity for my one year old son is one that I have been thinking about and discussed with my wife over many dinners.
Culture is definetly how we identify ourself. I totalling agree that aspects of our culture such as those listed by Cool guy are fast disappearing among young Engans (myself included)as we run towards and embrace the "western culture" and leave no time to participate, learn and pass on to our children what our elders can teach us. I think one of the reasons why (and there are many reasons - you can give yours) is that the passing on of traditions, rituals, legends, and other aspects of the Engan culture to the younger generation has been largely let to be the jobs of "ol lapuns". But I also think that today's young Engan men or women have little interest in learning these things. To them, the material world and money is more attractive than learning ones heritage. Maybe in the remotest parts of Enga, where little western influence has reached, the learning and passing on is still occuring.
So whats gonna happen when all those "lapuns" die? One of the ways where we can revive, mantain and continue the Engan culture and traditions is by institutionalising the learning, teaching, and practise of our culture. By this I mean, an Enga cultural centre/commision/intitution (whatever name you want to call it) needs to be set up where our different ways of singing and dancing, courtship, initiation, art, body painting and many others can be recorded, taught and practised. So that we do not LOSE WHAT MAKES US WHO WE ARE!
The idea of institutionlising the teaching, the learning and practise of the Engan culture may sound very big and the first question everyone will ask is, "where will the money come from to fund such an institution?" I think if we are really serious and mean bussiness it can be achived. Of course the provincial government and others may fund it, but for the longterm sustainability of such an institution, the people of Enga must own it! HOW? I think it has to start from us, those of us who want to see our culture live on. I mean private donations and fundraising by prominent Engans as well individuals to sustain the function of such an institution. I know these are some wishful thinking but just my thoughts.
Anyway, for now, we as individuals need to do whatever you can to promote and make others aware of the importance of learning and passing on our traditions and cultural heritage.
For me, I think I need to learn them first!!
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