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Date Posted: Mon, May 21 2007, 12:54:20pm
In reply to: DENDEN 's message, "TWO OF THE MAJOR PROBLEMS IN ENGA - ATTITUDE & POLITICS" on Fri, May 18 2007, 08:10:53pm

Very impressive observations Denden. As you pointed out well, the fast influence of the modern society on a primitive society that never had the chance to adjust like Europe, going through different stages of development to that which they are now.

Election is by the way a modern concept and not many people especially in Enga are aware of the outcome of them casting their votes. Many Engan adults dont have the opportunity to be educated with the election process what happens at the end of the day after they make a decision to vote someone in. Voting is not traditional to Engan Society. In actual fact the modern era that has been imposed in the province has not been taken well in the province.

If you take a look around, people dont know how to mix the two different cultures. Most people in the province are opting for the modern influence, which is why there is lots of people who have foregone their gardening habits and waste time and effort in Bingo and Card places where most of their productive hours are wasted just to gamble for a K10.00 for the whole day. People who have opted for the city lights have ended up selling bettelnuts on the streets, living in rat and mosquito infested house, with no fresh water to drink, and sleeping in unhygienic conditions. Compare that with those who are able to work the land at home. They have fresh cold water from the streams, fresh vegetables from home, breathing clean air, no mosquitoes.. etc.

Now, if i was in New York for the first time, i would need a guide, dont i? Without a guide, i would get lost in the big city. Apply the same analogy to the current situation. People who dont know how to survive the Modern world are being brought into a different culture, where they dont know how to live that kind of lifestyle. General Elections are just shoved down peoples neck, without explaing properly what peoples rights are and educting them properly. No wonder we have this big-man mentality, because thats what Engan society preaches, if you have 20 pigs and marry more than 2 wives, you must be a rich man. Well, take a look at the General elections and you see the similarity. Modern Voting systems can not be compared to Big-Man system in Enga. When there is no proper education, the people only know that kind of leadership mode and they just automatically switch their mind to it.

A great example is the Tari people at Gordons market. They are trying to bring their Tari custom to Port Moresby, and surely modern Papua New Guineans find them an eyesore in the city. Lots of other cultures in PNG are facing the same challenge. To be able to survive in this modern PNG, we need to be well educated with the modern culture and hold onto our culture, making sure we apply them in whatever setting that requires us to do that.

I for one see that, awareness is lacking in all aspects of life. If we have to promote some of the good things about western culture, like healthy living, healthy food, exercise, making use of time etc.. and bing productive, then all we have to do is look for ways to educate the people, until they know what we are talking about. It is like that analogy that i refered to earlier on. If i was new in New York, i need to have a guide to show me which places to go. At the moment, the Tari's have been dumped in New York with no guide, so they do their best trying to survive by doing what they know best. I believe the same is happening in Enga.

Education can change attitudes.....

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