IF you have been following this column (as in The National newspaper in PNG) since 2011, you would have noticed me writing on this topic before.
Joining gangs or the so-called cult groups is dangerous for many reasons.
I have stated before that the leaders of those groups try to get others to practise rituals that were similar to what people in traditional societies did, but because they were immature a lot of bad consequences might occur.
People may get hurt and in some cases, as years ago, students died as a result of rituals where new members were beaten on the chests by others.
Some who learned bad habits in such groups found it hard to part with later in life.
Last week I discussed this issue with a few other educators and said the first thing that comes to my mind about following a cult group was that the individual loses his or her identity as a person.
When you join certain groups, you get “generation names”, as they call them. And you are urged to wear someone else’s character or image.
In doing that you would lose your own individuality, which I think is a very bad way to live.
Given that we are born with unique combination of talents, abilities and intellectual astuteness, why should anyone wear someone else’s image, so to speak?
Many of the cult groups formed in secondary schools followed on traditions which were first started in some National High Schools.
I said some national high schools because in my days at Aiyura National High School in the late 1980s, there were no cult groups.
Of course, there were student groups there, but no cult groups with the passing on generation names as such. If there were such groups, they were operating in secret.
The school was so disciplined that there were hardly any fights then.
Students who attended the school in those days knew why they were there: to get educated, not spend time in unnecessary activities.
On my second day at the school, I was taken to a senior’s room and met a few others. But the kind of stories they told were not the ones I liked listening to. I never went to that senior’s room again nor hung around with him and his group of friends.
I made my decision to distance myself from people who did not walk the way I wanted to go.
It is my wish that you must do the same.
(I wrote the item for March 27.)
AN INCIDENT: Last week, the media in PNG reported a fight between two schools in Lae, the second largest city in PNG and is about 300km away from Port Moresby. Two students were wounded in the fight when Police came to stop the fight. One of the two students died from the injuries received. Police are still investigating.
A research by a group (The National, June 4, p6) revealed that cult groups formed by the schools over the years were the cause of the fights and other activities that have been going on in Lae.) REFER TO THE NEXT POST!