Submitted by Countryside
When the Whiteman first arrived our shores, our wantoks marveled at their tools, way of life and customs. They soon became part of their foreign policy, to spread their hegemony through colonialism. Using the strategy of in the first instance missionary out post, second to protectorate and than eventually to resource extractions, the machinery of development was totally for the Empire. Yep, we went under this conveyor belt as well, carving our great land to be one part for Wilhelm Kaiser and the other for Her Majesty.
When the Auzzies came to town and hanged around with us for almost 80 years, they did the same thing as well. Gave us a bit of this and a bit of that but they weren’t interested in educating us. Could you blame them, they had problems of their own. Wanting to grow as a new nation, they needed time to build as well.
So it was really left for our wantoks to explore how we coexist with them. Some got into mission school and became pastors, others were laborers in the plantations, many carried tons of gear on their backs to explore the interior and also bring the law on the land. Bit by bit we started getting educated and started broadening our horizons. My mama was one of the first girls to be enrolled in Sogeri High School and she often told me of tales of the excitement of wanting to contribute to the country.
Independence came along and the euphoria of opportunity, prosperity and security took the youths of PNG away from their villagers to work all over the country. Vibrant new teachers, government workers and tradesmen fueled the progress of the nation. This was my mum and dad’s generation. I see old photos with dad and his groovy side burns, mum and her minis and those groovy bellbottom pants they were so into. They lived in a time when our country was supposedly booming but they also lived in a time when we were beginning to explore what affluence means or to be more specific, what the whiteman wealth means. They tottled us away to international schools, packed our lunch boxes with vegemite and peanut butter, had their Friday pissups, did the whole beach thing on Saturdays. We of course all met again on Sundays, but that was another big event, to go to church.
My parents and many in their generation had a great life that transcended to my generation but one thing was quite obvious as I look back, they sacrificed their desire to have further qualifications so that my siblings will be educated. This sacrifice occurred all over the country. From coffee farmers, fisherman, laborours, truck drivers, buai sellers to landowners or natural resource projects, they saw the value of education.
The privileged went to privilege schools, the non privileged went to non privilege schools and those that just wanted to work, and they found work. As our nation progressed, these 1st Generation PNGns became leaders. Whether in politics, government, business and even in the underworld they have led men and women to forge our national identity.
Those in politics, they’re chartering our development under the 2050 Vision Plan and they are assimilating every government machinery to be consistent with it. Billions of kina will be pumped into it and it’ll be my son and grandson that’ll tell me if his old man got it right. But hey, the experts tell us it’s an evolutionary document.
Those in business will tell you they are contributing to the growth of this great nation. We are venturing and diversifying our businesses to new frontiers and are fostering the demands of the PNG consumer. They will tell you that with the liquidity in the market, absorbing consumer demands in various products is driving their businesses. From construction to retailing, it’s all happening.
Than there is the underworld leaders. Yeah, that’s been good as well. Competitors need to be iced, bodyguards are required, girls need pimps and need to cut corners on paperwork when you have a run in with the law. They of course are thriving because their clientele is big. It’s either the businessman or the poli, what a choice.
There is a second generation emerging and I am on the fringes of this demography and so am able to see the transition of the pure 1st and 2nd generation PNGns. We are getting the usual story in any power play, a prospective family member showing signs of inheriting the throne and this is what’s happening in PNG. A new generation wants power and they are bringing a degree of sophistication that PNG has never seen. They seem to be organized and using their networks, they want more of it.
Whether it’s Arthur Somare, John Kapi Natto or William Kapris Junior, they will go beyond their fathers’ ambitions and drive PNG to another dimension. Eager to place their make on history, these men and women unlike their fathers are full of energy, have tools to expand new horizons and access to corridors of power from Washington to Beijing. From international relations, corporate ventures to crime, this is my generation, the Opportunity Generation (OG).
Will take on Somare in politics, compete with John Kapi Natto’s empire and have turf wars with William Kapris Junior. Like our fathers, will lead our people to the promise land of prosperity and forge alliances with those that are on the same page with us. Beyond our borders, if they click with us, will fill Mirigini Haus, Touaguba Mansions, and Morata Basecamps with Australian boomerangs, Kiwi Fruits, Chinese ware, European Furniture, Indonesian Batik Cloth, American Spurs, Arabian rugs, Japanese HD Plazma Screen and some pacific kava. Unlike pup’s time, we know how to deal with them because we’ve been educated on their tricks as well.
I don’t know what the future holds for our great country, but I am reminded but what a dear and wise friend once told me. The wealth of a nation is not in the fish, lumber, rocks, oil and gas, but in the hearts and minds of its people. From the looks of it, the OG seem to have one glaring feature and that is, we are prepared to progress this country, for good or bad, so if you want to be part of the ride, do it on our terms. They’re all hearts, they’re all minds, the big question is, is it all PNG.
Rait man!! A great reminder which should help us see our very
Rait man!! A great reminder which should help us see our very beginning and measure our progress and to evaluate where we have pregressed and where we need to. A good way to question our very own values and virtues and if we all have made change on the basis of values and virtues and do we resemble any of them. It appears, these have all depleted. And mention of those few, they should reflect back to where they come from clans, tribes, villages, province and country and the secondary affiliations schools, churches and professions and see how much their people's living standards have improved and at least conduct ethically. Rait man, you rait. Feel its about time we go back to our roots and see where we should all carry on from where our 1st and 2nd generation have started and carry on the great work.
Another example of how easily we Papua New Guineans can be
Another example of how easily we Papua New Guineans can be tricked and fooled by fancy words. This article posted is from the PNGScape discussion forum by an overseas Papua New Guinean who goes by the name Countryside.
Sountryside at various times on that forum has strongly promoted land reform (another word for alienation of customary land) and foreign investment (another word for taking the cream of PNG's resources and leaving us the scraps). Countryside lives overseas and has a dreamlike quality to his visions, which are only dangerous because of his promotion of PNG development strategies that will ensure more open doors for a few to get rich at the expense of the majority.
I welcome my critics and again, am disappointed in the response.
I welcome my critics and again, am disappointed in the response. This Article was written to stimulate debate on the rising PNGn leaders that are responding to address challenges in our country. Whether in politics, business or crime, they are pursing change and wanting their own slice of paradise. The reality of these new leaders is that they are inheriting what they’re fathers (or in the case of William Kapris Jr an analogy) have built. With charisma, skills, contacts and finances, they are well resourced to build their dreams. For good or bad, that is the big question.
My dear friend obviously has string views against my perception of progress for our nation and I respect his views. I believe PNG is ready for progressing its resources to generate prosperity for its people. They are ready to lean on their sons and daughters to advise them on land utilization, investment opportunities, educating their brothers and sisters in the best schools the country can offer and live fully in our country.
Idealistic?, perhaps, possible? absolutely. Our people have gone beyond simpletons and are advancing at a rapid rate of excellence and this is the PNG I am excited and at the same time fearful of. Why, because I truly don’t know which way they want to progress our nation. The more we able to discuss about this the more we may know. Because I know the OG like you and me, are in the masses that read these sites for inspiration, consul and frustration.