ARE you aware that our PNG local ancestors had some of the wisest characters – and some of the wisest sayings?
If you have spent some time living in the village, you would be privileged to have heard a traditional lore or one-liner.
(For those who are writers/or aspiring writers, it is a good thing to explore such themes. Write down traditional lore, anecdotes and proverbs as part of documenting our heritage. You will be enriched by doing that. In my next post, I will post a few.)
I have heard a number and they have shaped the way some of us think too – those of us who were privileged to be there in the 1970s and 1980s.
THE TALK WITH THE CABBIE
I was ferried by a cabbie yesterday evening to visit a cousin before she left the city to return home.
In the process, we (the cabbie and I) got into a conversation, as is the usual practice for me when I am in the mood.
I spoke about the need for common sense and how our ancestors celebrated important occasions in their lives without consuming alcohol.
I told him of my stance as regards alcohol – “there is nothing good in it”. It is a foreign concept that has ruined the nation – our nation.
I spoke of how today young people take alcohol and speak disrespectfully of others without restraint.
“This never happened in the old days,” I said. “The whole village will stop you and tell you immediately to make plans for restitution and make apologies. One of your own relatives may even handle you physically to put some sense into you.”
The cabbie told me that that was “real men talk” – something most people he travelled with never do.
I asked him if he was a Kange – a real Melpa man.
He said he was.
And I told him, I have been with some young Kanges in the past and they have said the same thing when such comments are made. (I told him that I grew up in Melpa country too – before and after Independence.)
Some of these Melpa men I know remember how their fathers or grandfathers taught them – the need to live with a head on and be at peace with their neighbours and relatives, something that is not usually seen today in many homes and families.
The abuse of alcohol has further pulled down the barriers that have protected our people for the ages.
Today when someone is under the influence of alcohol and do something bad, people would say: “Oh, sorry, he was drunk when he did it.”
When that is said, it is as if the culprit should be excused.
You try that in court and the magistrate would hurry you up to the National Court section to be trialled for assault or harassment – or whatever illegal thing you did.
Being drunk gives you no excuse of harassing or abusing somebody.
Next post: Some pieces from Melpa country