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01 June 2017


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Excellent piece, Tanya.

Words written in English, concepts grown in 'Other-than-english', ideas seeded in first-tongue, thoughts foraging nutrients of imaginations that were or may have been. Pleasing to be visiting verdant vales and vantages, more pleasing to read plural pronouns presented by Tanya.

Words non-written in times past, yet shared and inculcated (as described by John Waiko) have longitudinal depth, and finite-ness. Acts of recall are celebration.

Words recorded and retrieved from archives, each having a start point, may offer extension longitudinally, yet none far in time as other extant artifacts.

Words wrap, as bounds of relationships, enabling, enhancing and obliging. Map markings of locations at the mouth of Gira River, now no impediment to visitation, oblige me to consider also Waria River when next traversing near Tanya's territory.

This is a great piece of writing.

Papua New Guineans have been catapulted into the modern world at a moment in history when change has and no doubt will continue to occur at a blinding pace.

As it has been wrenched into modernity, PNG has had to endure not only the tremendous impact of an alien colonial culture but the associated impact of rapidly accelerating technological change.

Even as a person coming from an ostensibly "advanced" culture, I have sometimes found it hard to comprehend the speed and scale of the changes over my lifetime.

My ancestors were living essentially medieval lives in 1590 when they first appear in Elizabethan London. They lived in a mostly poor, chaotic and dangerous society, where death was a constant companion even for the wealthy.

In most respects, they lived lives not unlike those of their distant forebears yet, in a mere 400 years or so, the world has changed so dramatically that it would be unrecognisable to them.

The pace of change is not slowing and my sense is that we humans are collectively in for a wild ride into a highly uncertain future. Just what sort of future we will confront is no more discernible to us now than our current world was to our collective ancestors.

So, Tanya is right to suggest that knowing your roots helps provide a reliable anchor point in a very uncertain world.

It is advice we would all do well to heed.

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