REGULAR readers of PNG Attitude may have noticed a new byline on a number of stories we’ve recently published on this blog, mostly focusing on current news events.
Peter Kinjap, 36, is the writer and he comes with an excellent pedigree in both academic achievement, heritage writing and journalism.
“I’m a freelance journalist not because I want extra bucks but because writing became my hobby at UPNG 14 years back,” Peter says.
Since that time he has written regularly for newspapers like the Post-Courier, The National Weekender The Independent and the Sunday Chronicle, where he’s a columnist, as well as New Age women’s magazine and his own content-rich blog, The Melanesian Way, which you can link to here.
The blog, like PNG Attitude, is a voluntary initiative and welcome donations, contributions and support.
It is based in Port Moresby as the communications arm of a youth organisation that aims to maintain oral history through literature, images and digital recording. Peter has been interviewed about the project on Radio Australia.
“In the face of the growing influence of Western cultures,” Peter said, “cultural preservation and the valuing of heritage is becoming more important for countries where traditional knowledge and practices are being eclipsed by the effects of globalisation.
"I have pioneered the work of preserving and promoting Melanesian cultures using internet and blogging, and was invited to the British Museum to make a reflection of Melanesian (PNG) arts and crafts.
"Following this I made a presentation with Liz Bonshek (a research fellow in anthropology with the British Museum and now a lecturer at University of Canberra) at St Andrews University in Scotland," he told me
Peter has also written a chapter in the book Melanesia: Arts and Encounter in which he considers the trends and changes from traditional to modern times in how PNG women make bilums. The book was published by the British Museum and you can link to it here.
Peter has a bachelor’s degree in social psychology from UPNG and a post graduate diploma in tourism studies from the University of the South Pacific.
At present he is planning no less than three novels. One, with the working title of For No Good Reason will be set against high-profile corruption in PNG and its impact on ordinary people.
The second, My Travel Diary, is intended to portray the various lifestyle in PNG, especially looking at the contrast between life in the village and life in towns.
The third, at present titled My Great-Grandfather, My Grandfather, My Father, Me and My Son, will seek to capture the changes in PNG from the past to the present and also the future of PNG development, especially the fading away of indigenous cultures.
Thoughts for a fourth are also evolving in his mind, and it looks like the creation of these contemporary realist novels will keep him occupied for some time to come.