COMMERCIALIZATION OF PNG CULTURE RAISES CONCERN

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By Zachery Per

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Sept. 17) - Goroka
Member of Parliament and Minister for Internal Security Bire Kimisopa is
concerned that Papua New Guinea’s culture is being overcommercialized.

Speaking at the official closing of the three-day Goroka show
last week, Mr Kimisopa said he was concerned that traditional material was being
substituted with modern material such as fabrics replacing tree-bark (tapa
cloth).

Mr Kimisopa said culture should not be commercialized for
monetary benefits and occasions like the Goroka Show should proudly showcase the
diverse cultures of the people of Eastern Highlands and other provinces.

He added the use of modern art and material in traditional
costumes did not reflect originality.

"The integrity of our culture is in danger," he said,
even the types of songs and dances could be bastardized and lose their real
meaning.

Mr Kimisopa said traditionally one village or tribe was not
allowed to copy the songs from other groups but it was being done.

He said the show should be used to demonstrate to young people
the legacy of the forefathers and the customs handed down from generation to
generation. 

At the opening of the show on Friday, Eastern Highlands Governor
Malcolm Smith Kela said the provincial government would increase its sponsorship
for the show from K70,000 to K200,000 next year.

September 17, 2003

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

 

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