My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 02/2006

« Initiation rites surrounding ‘Te Tahol’ in the Buka culture | Main | Kaiyo the Igam terrorist »

02 July 2015


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Well said Jack.

Your reply is worth an article on its own - 'Perceptions of Poverty'.

Well said, Jack Klomes.

Lack of services is the main problem for the rural people. Those foreign bodies count PNG as poor based on the amount of money a person can live on per day, but the fact is, if you are living in the village, you can spend a couple of kina for your sugar and salt while having abundant food everyday!

By just manipulating global data, it completely changes how the world views PNG and how PNGians view themselves.

Sometimes it's the world view of others that puts us down, we seem to be looking like poor people because all these criteria are based on international standards of living.

But then again our own people fail to be patriotic about our people, if there are ways to improve the life in the village than make it happen, our people need good leadership that can lead them out of their woes.

I see some leaders go out of their way just to secure funding for projects like classrooms and health centers from aid agencies and other funding agencies.

We just hope we find more leaders and educated Papua New Guineans to help fix some issues that we face.

Poorest person in the village? So all rural dwellers in PNG are poor or living in poverty? Yeah that is right, that's based on the report by World Bank, IMF, UN and all those international organisations specialising in PNG.

I ask myself what is the definition of poverty? What criterion are these experts using to define poverty and poor. Its not like the rural dwellers are living at the mercy of the government and IMF or UN and will starve to death.

If someone is living on his own land, with food from his garden,with fresh water to drink and bath, fish from the sea and meat from the jungles is he still poor? If he earns a few bucks from selling his cocoa or coffee or surplus from his garden, is he still poor or living in poverty?

Are we contributing to this rural to urban drift by telling them that they are poor by living in the village? What is development anyway? Is it about being rich as in having millions in your account, driving fancy vehicles, living in glass houses? or is it about happiness and being content with life?

You see there is a difference between access to services and the idea of living in poverty in the PNG Context. Yes if you compare well off people in living in towns and rural dwellers there is a big difference in their living styles...but then this is the definition of life in two different world views (cultures). The definition of life, its priorities and wealth is different between a Westerner and a Melanesian.

I believe it is a lack of respect and too generalized to imply that rural dwellers are poor just because someone lives in the rural setting. We the elites in PNG are contributing to making this country poor by implying to our rural populations and ourselves that they are poor.

It is important for Papua New Guineans to get their facts right when dealing with issues relating to development, we should be more critical of things and be more aware of ourselves!

Most people will call my rantings "romantic" but I have lived in a village though I did not feel rich I was content, I attended a rural school with ol mangi lo ples, I sat in a class room with the naked earth for a floor, thatched sago leaves for a roof and with desks made of limbum (not sure of its English name but is what most coastal villages use for their floors).

And when it rains, oh when it rains we love it standing in the corner where the roof is not leaking and poking fun at our classmates and the teacher trying to move his books away from the leaking roofs while at the same time complaining about "het strong papa mamas".

And during the dry season we have fetch water from the wells to wet the floor (earth) so we don't choke from the dust. I never felt disadvantage or poor...I got an education which landed me in a University later. That is why I take it personally when people imply that rural dwellers are poor.

Again what is PNG's definition of development?

Poor nogat true, access to services yes, the government has a big outstanding job there. I am always mindful of what I tell my people as an educated person since the most scariest prison one could be in is in their head.

And oh yeah the community school that I attended, all the bush material classrooms are gone now, in its place we have nice permanent buildings with cement floor and nice desks, well thats development it took time though but its development nonetheless!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)