Tuesday, May 15, 2012

WHY PAPUA NEW GUINEANS SHARE...


Sometime ago,  I  remarked  food tastes a lot better if you share it with others.
When I was  little, I always wondered  why my grandmother would send small parcels of meat or fish
to new  neighbors  who had just moved in two blocks away.  Why would she go out of her way in a
province so far from her own village  to  give away  food that we could have easily kept  for next week’s
 supper?  She shared what she had without any expectation of  getting something in return.    Several
months later,  a child (or several children)  would  turn up  at our door step with a small package  with the
message: mum sent this for you.   Ok. Who’s your mum?  And where do you live?  In many instances,
we did  not  know  who his parents were because grandma gave away lot  of food parcels.   Life is richer
when you share.
Papua New Guineans have great difficulty eating alone.  Food,  no matter how small the portion,  still has
to be shared.   From an early age, we are taught to share everything we eat even if there is a lot.  Eating
alone is boring.     It’s not about  how delicious  or  tasteless the food is.  The act of sharing  nourishes
relationships  and builds new ones.
There’s an old saying  that I must be able to see smoke  (from cooking fires) from my neighbors’ house.
It means  I can’t eat and be content knowing that my neighbor is hungry.
Those relationships that my parents and my grandparents  built when I was a child still exist today.  I find
help  and a place to sleep in the most unlikely places  and  from the unlikeliest of people.
They  built those relationships  with  a future generation in mind – my generation and my children’s
generation and those who will come after me.

1 comment:

  1. That is one of the most beautiful aspect of the Melanesian Way. I am proud to be a Papua New Guinean.Thank you for sharing it.

    Solom Kombukun

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