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18 January 2014


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John - you are right. No one should judge. I'm just expressing an opinion.

But meri blouses compared to traditional or modern PNG fashion are crap. (My opinion.)

Meri blouses have followed the change in fashion: they have changed too but they are cool.

I tend to like it more on some women than others but its a PNG fashion icon just like the bilum and will be around for a while.

I can clearly sense that Peter has certain tastes, and he is also entitled to his views but it has a place in PNG Society and no one can dispute that.

At risk of re-opening an old debate, I give you this....

Hey meri blouses are cool. They are PNG and women love them. Very simple, comfortable and make sense for the tropics.

Hold your horses Peter, you got it all in one point - fashion, life is not about displaying bodies be it feminine or masculine. The appeal is for those who have a taste of appearances be it models and fashions. The real person is behind all you see. The blouse is a dressing code for females that comes with many virtues and now after those years, has become an accepted 'culture' of wearing the 'meri blouse at all major occasions, graduations, anniversies, Independence Celebrations and others. 'A treason it is to simply say it is a disgrace to our country'. If the fashion industry suffers, it should design to suit the people - moral decent dressings matters in PNG as you can see. To be frank - 'meri blouses' are not about hiding human body features should you or any in support want to expose or display - and it's a free country still in that matter.

I am unsure whether many women “adore” the meri blouse or simply consider it the most appropriate piece of clothing – after years of missionary indoctrination.

Certainly, having a choice of clothing is not the same as having a choice to wear what you like. Or would anyone argue that women in PNG also “have the choice” to walk around on their own at night.

We Papua New Guinean women like the meri blouse. These days, the meri blouse comes in trendy different styles. It is a modest piece of attire that most PNG women adore.

It shouldn't become an issue of style, because women in PNG have a choice of clothing and there are women here, who dress the way they please.

Maybe some of you who are making a fuss over this blouse should introduce a fashion line where it will bring peace to you, because of how you keep on yapping about the meri blouse. And it better be something accepted in our culture!

Peter: Despite their prudish provenance - and there is much to be said about the virtues of modesty - I find much to admire about meri blouses.

They are undoubtedly cooler than tighter-fitting attire and relatively easy and cheap to make (a very important consideration in PNG I would have thought); they can be constructed to be more form-fitting and shapely if desired; they can be worn at both formal and informal occasions and they can be embellished in all kinds of ways to allow the wearer to make her own fashion 'statement'.

And, at the risk of being old-fashioned, they are a most 'sensible' attire for tropical climes.

They have also become something akin to a distinctive national dress for PNG women and so make a 'statement' of another kind.

Whether the shapelessness of meri blouses and their success in hiding the features of the female form is a virtue or a crime is, like fashion and beauty, in the eye of the beholder. I, for one, prefer the subtlety, imagination and anticipation borne of modesty.

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