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08 December 2017


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Samarai...the memories..

"My Isle of Samarai"

Roaming days are over and I am going back,
Back to my isle I used to know.
So please remember when I am far away,
'cause I know we'll meet again one day.

Come back, come back to my island home with me!
Where the ocean breezes in the old palm tree-
We'll sit and watch the clouds drifting by
far above my isle of Samarai.

Roaming days are over, I'm going home
Back to the Isle I used to know
So please come home with me in my canoe
And we'll skim across the waters blue.

Come back! Oh come back to my Island home with me
Where the ocean breezes sway the tall palm trees.
We'll sit and watch the clouds go drifting by
Far above the Isle of Samarai

Sweet are the thoughts of you I bear with me,
Sadly I linger by the sea.
Across the ocean I watch the sun
As it sets beneath (or beyond) the swaying palms.

Life has been so happy since I met you
And you have promised to be true
So please remember when I'm far sweetheart
For I know we'll meet again some day...

Does anyone know the words to 'My Island Samarai'? I think there's an English version and a Motu version.

Remember the band 'Johnny Diwai and the Splinters'?

Thank you Geoff. Motu was such a beautiful language, mostly all vowels, spoken with a musical lilt. But with the current trends of transmigration continuing, I fear that within a few generations the use of Motu will gradually decline intil it is relegated to the dustbins of history, just like Latin. What a sad day for Papua that will be.

Yes Chips my daughters know the songs but i doubt their bubus do.

Raisi Mo...

Raisi mo ianina lao hesiku
Dahaka bama ani bama moa'le ?
Dina vada be dihomu
Do baina'la sinagu baina nanadaia
Dahaka e nadu.
Oh ! Bogahisigu, 'lau madi-o !
Baina moa'le
Oh ! Bogahisigu, 'lau madi-o !
Baina moa'le sinagu dainai

Translation of 1st verse

Tired of eating rice
What shall I eat to make me happy
The sun has gone down
I'll go and ask mummy
What she cooked .
Oh ! I am sorry for myself
Oh ! I'll be happy
Sorry for myself
I'll be happy because of my mother .

2nd verse

Tamagu e, .aoma aita haoda
Sinagu na bea geigeimu
Bena adorahi baita lou mai
Baita nanadu vamu dainai
Maho be ianina mai moale
Badina vamu ida vada e nadua
Lalogu danu e me moale .

2nd verse translation.

Daddy come and let's go fishing
Mummy will go to the garden
In the evening we'll come back
We 'll cook with the fish
You 'll be happy to eat yams
Because it s cooked with fish
My mind is satisfied.

Yes, Geoff. And remember those beautiful Motuan songs the Hanuabada kids used to sing like Papua Natuna and Raisi Mo. All soon to be lost and gone forever.

This is the elephant in the room.

Highlanders with their wealth, aggression and bribery have steamrolled their way into the laid-back lives of the local people around Port Moresby.

Motu Koitabu elders have had a constant battle on their hands preventing highlanders who marry their women (money talks just as it did pre-independence) from taking up residence in their villages.They know only too well their wantoks will not be far behind.

Education does not always prevent ignorance. In a recent Facebook discussion about the relocation of Hanuabada village one response from an Engan engineer living in Brisbane was "who cares about that place." Longlong het i pas!

It is a shame the Papua Besena Party led by Josephine Abaijah in the 1970's was unsuccessful in its attempt to declare Papua an independent state and limit immigration.

Guess some of you can recall the man dressed up in all his bilas at the Rouna Falls where there was public lookout. He would charge you for photographing him with the falls and valley in background. Incongruously his bilas was of highland origins.

About same time I was the buyer for Pasuwe Ltd in Gordons and I could get good deals from my Singapore suppliers. They would sell goods to me in small ‘break bulk’ deals whereas Hong Kong wanted to sell me in lots of 100 dozens.

I asked one particular Singapore salesman in the old Boroko Hotel, their favourite lodge in town, if he could print a Papuan scene on perhaps 20 dozen white t-shirts I was buying. He got out his calculator and rapidly came up with a price that amazed me.

Merely for just a few toea a garment his workers would unpack each t-shirt from its plastic cover print it repack it and ship it to us in Moresby. Good deal, when they arrived it was my ‘Rouna Highlander’ not a Papuan.

On the use of Tok Pisin or Pidgin in Papua I thought I’d have problems when starting to work for Pasuwe Ltd at Kawito in the Gogodala. I was surprised that, as well as English, nearly all my staff were fluent not only in their mother tongue but also in Pidgin.

Many ‘non-Gogo’ staff would soon pickup the Gogodala language too showing how linguistically adept PNG people are at learning other tribal languages.

My wife lived there with me and she too spoke a little by the time we moved on. In fact by the time she died I estimate she had some fluency in perhaps 6 languages.

The worst Pidgin speaking boss I had was DC Ian Holmes who would raise a wry smile among old New Guinea men when speaking his Motuan style of the language. I believe he did a lot of his service the other side of the mountains. Including his spell in Daru.

Mind I am noticing how the Pidgin reported in the media is being altered by your Highlanders Phil. Seems like BILONG has given way to BLO.

We are told language is a living thing and constantly altering as years pass. Not true here in Wales where the elite Welsh language lobby wants to revert to using classical Welsh rather than 21st century edition.

My daughter lives in a road named Porfa Ballas. I have tried to get a translation from Welsh speakers of its meaning but cannot find anyone who knows the English equivalent.

Strangely her house is very near Cardiff airport or ples-BALUS…Did some PNG expat in the council make a mixed race language joke when naming the road. After all Porfa is Welsh for pasture or field so the mysterious name could indeed mean ‘Air-field!

Phil, I do remember some years ago that most of the PMV and taxi drivers in Port Moresby came from Hagen, and more specifically from the Tambul-Nebyler area ofWestern Highlands Province, and later many from Dei Council area also got involved. I do not think there is any simple explanation, perhaps the luck of the wantok system. Maybe Hagen drivers got in early and enticed their wantoks to follow.
It may be that there are some parallels in other areas. Is there a disproportionate number of Sepiks in the police force? How balanced is provincial representation in the teaching service?

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