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02 July 2014


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My father was born to Anglo parents in 1930 in Fiji where he grew up wearing a sulu.
For much of his adult life he lived in PNG and wore a lap lap.
The balance of his life has been lived in Sydney - where he continued to wear a lap lap / sulu.
Tradesmen, or other unknown persons, visiting his house in Sydney were always perplexed at this man in a skirt.
To us children it was completely normal.

The wearing of a lap lap / sulu was fundamental to his sense of identity and belonging.
It was his guma.

Citing our "independence" as a reference point for many of the things that are either going well or getting worse to me is quite shallow, and lacks substance.

Many writers and commentators often do this.

There are better anchors other than the independence. And there should be better indicators.

Does that mean that before independence, things were better or worse?

The world is changing and so do humans.

And human perceptions also change. Think of how our forefathers define decency and other virtues that kept communities and societies intact. That has changed a lot.

Further, while I support calls for some form of decency in our dress code, I wonder if we ever consider facts such as the climate change particularly global warming which has greatly affected human behaviour also.

We have been down this road before with this arguments and reasonings.
Any clothing is foreign. The women should not wear bras and wear stay frees. The islanders pontoloons or a variation of the sailors blouse.
We should return to the days when women were bare breasted 'susu i sanap or pundaun' and kiaps oggled their eyes out and where missionaries dreamt of committing adultery and as bush kanakas, we were happy. The grass skirts and the purrpurr should be brought back in.
we must get rid of the dysentries and all the other horde of ill the westerners brought to our shores. We must get rid of corruptions and return back to our tribal wars.
It is not proper to isolate and box what women wear in a corner and label it a guma when the mordern lifestyle in its entirety is all a guma.
Francis Saliau,please dont go down the gutter to say that because she dresses like that she invites being raped. There were virtually no rapes when she was walking around with her susu sanap before.
the result is that treat those guma's, any gumas with respect irrespective. they are humans these men or women guma or other wise.
Remember I am still a Papua New Guinean when I take a high powered gun against my neighbours. It is guma when I should be fighting with an bow and arrow.

Well what is standard and acceptable dressing then ? What is acceptable to one might not be acceptable to another. Do we want dressing codes to be regulated in PNG.

The simple trousers or shirt or skirts are still "Guma" culture so what is your argument?

Don't forget our great ancestors wore small tapa clothes with their testicles visible and the ladies were topless with small skirts without bras and undies and that was acceptable then.

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