PNG budget – loss of discipline heralds rough ride ahead
PNG budget shifts massive funds from provinces to Waigani

Gende is losing its virginity in the name of development

Bundi land (Harry Greenwell)JOSEPH TAMBURE

Part 1

Birds sing and dance on their dancing branches
attracting other admirers without disturbance
Wild animals roam their jungles
feeding and breeding without fear
Cold crystal clear rivers, streams and creeks flow a forever journey
without ever changing their course
Frogs croak out their deep throaty sound
and sleep without intrusion
But today everything is changing in the name of development

Gende people are peace loving
minding their own affairs with no fear
Community welfare is our responsibility
without seeking outside help
Strangers and travellers
find free lodging without rejection
With no doubt sharing and caring
is a gift from the people of Gende
But today everything is changing in the name of development

Gende people live healthily on the produce of their land
without worry about food shortage and water scarcity
Sickness is just ailments and flu
without spreading death
Long sickness and death is from our spirit ancestors
it needs our attention to relationships
so we can live on without fear
The cold climate and forever surplus
nourishes us to long life without unnecessary death
But today everything is changing in the name of development

Bundi-Chimbu roadPart 2

Instead of birds, helicopters fly about
scattering living creatures in fear
Wild animals seek new territory
retreating before man and machine
Frogs and insects are heard no more,
sweet melodies lost forever
Cold clear water now smelly brown with oil streaks
chemicals destroying life on their perpetual mission
All this is happening in the name of development

Gende people see an influx of people
in the villages and hamlets all races and tribes
Fresh natural delicious food
rapidly run over by junk
Unknown sicknesses have become a plague
death a common fate for the innocent
Healthy long living a blessing of the past
gone forever
All this is happening in the name of development

Gende communities now divided
into small rival groups
Power and greed are a must
to be wealthy and gain respect
If no strength over dominion
eviction and flight is nearby
Cooperation and welfare so bad
crime escalating to its highest peak
All this is happening in the name of development

Amongst these rushes and brushes now
lives a fearful and timid tribe
All speaking one language
east west, north south
Communicating through yodelling, smoke, sunbeam, flutes and kundu
is the strange language Gendeka
All this is happening in the name of development

The spirits of our ancestors are guardians of ours
and the password to making seasons wet or dry
But their vibrant heritage is fading
Growing food crops and raising animals no more
Courtship, pig feasts and harvest revels no more
Initiations of manhood and womanhood
now things of the past and just part of history
And so I bleed silently for the love
the love of my beloved Gende land
All this is happening in the name of development

Joseph Tambure is from the Gende clan which nestles in the embrace of near Mt Wilhelm in Usino Bundi country. He works for the mission aviation fellowship (MAF) out of Mount Hagen


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Bernard Corden

Dear Robert,

Many thanks for your kind response. Joseph hails from Karisokera and the Mikaimowo clan. It's certainly much different from Manny Shinwell's electorate.

Robert Forster

Hello Joseph and Bernard - I am sorry my attempt at Gendekar was cryptic. It is almost 50 years since I lived with people who spoke it and can only remember a handful of words like "good" and "work".

I had hoped to pass on to Joseph that I recognised much of what he had said, had shared some of the Bundi experience he described, and so had enjoyed what he had written - but I clearly failed in this.

I learned last year that there was a sizeable extraction effort was being undertaken at Yandera which was one of the more remote villages at the head of the Imbrum river and was surprised by this - which underlines the length of time I have lived elsewhere and also some naivety.

Perhaps the latter emphasises that even in the headwaters of the Imbrum there is no escape from the global economy?

Bernard Corden

I can vividly remember the grand wizard and former minister Ian Macfarlane in the public gallery during the coal workers' pneumoconiosis inquiry plucking away at a banjo and devising strategies to preserve corporate and shareholder interests and socialise any losses.

Since retiring from politics he has been rewarded with a sinecure as CEO with the Queensland Resources Council to replace Michael Roche.

Roche is now a director on the board of WorkCover Queensland as the treasury juggles with chain saws to protect its virtual pot of gold, which masquerades as a workers' compensation scheme.

Bernard Corden

Dear Robert - Development may bring work for the Gende clan but is never ecologically sustainable.

The track record of most rapacious corporate terrorists including Marengo Mining and Ramu Nickel is appalling and the devastating consequences often include catastrophic environmental damage with debilitating occupational diseases such as mesothelioma, black lung and silicosis:

a) W G Grace Libby Montana
b) Union Carbide Hawks Nest West Virginia
c) Union Carbide Bhopal
d) Occidental Petroleum Love Canal New York State
e) Occidental Petroleum Piper Alpha
f) Massey Energy Upper Big Branch West Virginia
g) BP Deepwater Horizon
h) BHP BMA/Anglo Coal/ Glencore Black Lung
i) Cape PLC Barking East London Mesothelioma
j) Turner & Newall Armley Leeds Mesothelioma
k) CSR Wittenoom
l) James Hardie
m) Mr Fluffy
n) CRA Bougainville
o) BHP Ok Tedi
p) Delta Gold Guadalcanal
q) Radium Dial Company and The Radium Girls
r) BHP/Vale Samarco
s) Animas River Colorado
t) Valley of the Drums Kentucky
u) Baal Gammon Walsh River FNQ
v) RAAF Reseal Deseal and PFAS
w) Aberfan
x) Anglo American Mount Morgan
y) Peabody Coal Wollar NSW
z) Alcoa Wagerup Refinery Yarloop WA

If labour, which is far superior to capital, was equitably distributed it would create shorter working days, decrease unemployment and enhance interest in the arts and sciences to preserve culture:

The merger of corporate and state interests and worship of the Friedman doctrine in an era of rampant unfettered casino capitalism with laissez faire ideology ensures profit is privatised and the loss is socialised.

Mountain top mining throughout Appalachia is disgraceful and Clive Palmer is merely an Australian replica of the socially autistic Don Blankenship.

"A reasonable estimate of economic organization must allow for the fact that, unless industry is to be paralyzed by recurrent revolts on the part of outraged human nature, it must satisfy criteria, which are not purely economic" (RH Tawney - Religion and the Rise of Capitalism, 1926)

Joseph Tambure

Thank you very much for publishing my poem on PNG Attitude. This is very encouraging to write more.

This is another way of the silent majority expressing their problems peacefully.

Robert Forster

Mogeri, Joseph. Kongo omwe.

Bernard Corden

Keep up the great work Joseph, an economy is not a society.

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