To you all:
I am somewhat hopeful for the destiny of the Melanesian people of these lands, despite the so many and diverse cultures, differences, contradictions etc, and the dire consequences infringing and enslaving rights to freedoms for the human soul to a dignified life, just by the standard and quality of discussions on the few topics so far from only a handful.
All you guys and gals are speaking my language. Mi wanbel wantem yupla olgata.
Yes, I have hope. If these handful is any indication then there are many out there somewhere, also with like thoughts, who may not only contribute with ideas but may be able to implement them towards the kind of society only dreamed of.
There is a need to reach out to everyone who has similar ideas.
There is a need for the following, amongst others. Anyone else can offer and elaborate on:
This website is a terrific idea and full marks to the person(s) who thought it up. But only a very small percentage have access to this media and thus is limited.
(i) Maybe a newspaper- print media along the lines of 'The Wantok' could be more effective. I know we already have 3 or 4 but all speaking the point of view and agendas beneficial to their financial sources.
(ii) Radio (FM station)
(2) A 'thinktank'
Establish a network of like-minded professional from across the spectrum of thought and disciplines of studies with a the goal of having some influence in policy direction and implementation towards the 'Dream'. A small central office to administer, liase, edit, etc.
All these require funding, that I concede, and because of that may be open to forces detrimental to the pursuits of the Dream, but I have hope that the pursuit of the Dream is in the blood and the spirit and these alone should overcome adversities.
Now, my thoughts on the place - role/status, of women in our semi-modern, semi-traditional Melanesian society:
Women as kitchen drivers:
Women are naturally good kitchen drivers, but so are men. I think men are better cooks then women ( ahem, up for dispute and debate).
So the argument that women should spend their lives in the kitchen does not hold much water these days.
Women as punching bags:
Not our tradition. I was told stories about our forefathers respect for women, and I fortunately was witness to several case. And most everybody loved their mothers.
One case was caught in a movie I saw; there was a tribal fight somewhere in the highlands. The opposing enemies ran around past their enemy's womenfolk, to attack enemy warriors. I asked and was told, maybe mistakenly, this was typical in the old days. But the victors sometimes took with them some women and children of the defeated enemies, not as slaves but as additions to their families.
So maybe there are lessons from the past about the respect for the dignity of women and children.
Women as sex objects/commodity:
Again not traditional, but and idea forced on us as a consequence of the pillars of western/civilized thought. Simply our forefathers had respect for the dignity of women. Bride price was an honorable "thankyou" gesture to the brides family/clan.
So again, maybe there are lessons from the past about the respect for the dignity of women.
Just my thoughts...