I GUESS the quality of relationships between Papua New Guineans and expatriates comes down to humility and a cultural acceptance of how we relate to each other.
In their own countries, most Westerners, without the degree of authentic culture we have, operate in isolation and compete aggressively with their colleagues for status and material gain in employment and every walk of life.
This gives them a certain degree of importance and is a topic of discussions during social gatherings and family dinners. They don't have a carefree way of living and most of them love their freedom and space.
When Westerners get an opportunity to work abroad it becomes an opportunity of finding themselves important and making up for what they cannot easily get in their countries, which is the level of self-importance.
When I see non-Papua New Guineans like this, especially Caucasians, I pity them and tell myself I am happy that at least PNG can offer them some feeling of self-importance because when they go back to their country, their own circumstances may not allow them to enjoy such privileged feelings and treatment.
So for me, I see a real cultural difference. But as long as we Papua New Guineans, when working amongst them, know we are professionals and experts in our own right, there is no need to feel challenged.