STEVE W LABUAN
“But stand a Bougainvillean and a PNG man together and ask ‘Does their skin colour look the same?’ Do New Guineans dance the kovi and sing the siriroi so common across Bougainville and the Solomons?” – Leonard Fong Roka, PNG Attitude, 18 October 2013
I GUESS THE SAME CRY of belonging can be echoed across our nation’s borders from Bougainville to the Sandaun and Western provinces.
The same may be heard within our provincial boundaries. And what's in a colour, especially in Papua New Guinea? Isn't PNG full of colour, not to mention language, dance and song, and islands?
Should we separate according to our respective colours, dancing to our own songs away from each other? The other with whom we have travelled this far through thick and thin.
The reality is that there are no mono-cultural states in the world today. Civilisation is more and more a shared phenomenon. It is cross-culture that will move us into the future.
Is it the best thing that part of humanity's children be isolated of their own will from the rest of us? Such things can be thoughtfully considered for the best outcome for everybody.
Rather than creating new problems, I prefer that a state system of decentralisation, such as Australia's, is the better solution in recognition of PNG’s regional identities.
Tokples elementary schools tied into Tokpisin, our black, red and gold flag, and the Oh Arise song as the identifiers of one nation.
We can only achieve these if we all want to.