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PNG proverbs

March 14 2012 at 2:06 PM
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Lulu 

Hi all!
Could anyone tell where to find some proverbs / wisdom quotes from the Melanasian culture? I'm especially interested in the Islands communities.

Thanks a lot for your help!

 
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AuthorReply
Karuka

Re: PNG proverbs

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March 14 2012, 3:56 PM 

One from the central highlands.

If you put out the eyes of a pig that habitually breaks fences and raids peoples' gardens, it will still look for ways to break in when blind because it is naturally inclined to do so.

A thief will always be a thief regardless, whether he/she is exposed, caught or punished. Quite evident with PNG's white collar thieves and robbers.

 
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Ralph Hamilton

Re Proverbs.

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March 14 2012, 6:06 PM 

Masta bilong Ostrelia em i gat tupela pes. (One from the Taim Bilong Masta)

Hahaha......Ralph.

 
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Da Beach

Re: Re Proverbs.

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March 14 2012, 8:38 PM 

GOOD ONES!

There is an old proverb from Mekeo that those who promise to help, then disappear for awhile, never had the intention to help.

 
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EllenG

Re: Re Proverbs.

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March 14 2012, 10:21 PM 

Heard this saying, a few times, in different ways, around PNG:

"Pik em i bikpela samting."

"Boroma be gau badana".

A pig is a big thing.

 
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em

Re: Re Proverbs.

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March 15 2012, 12:15 AM 

The proverb you're talking about can also apply to many of our politicians.

 
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Jwirght

Can you explain these proverbs?

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October 24 2013, 5:49 AM 

I am working on a paper regarding Papua New Guinea/Melanesian Proverbs and would love to use these proverbs as illustrations, but it would be really helpful if i could understand the meaning of the proverbs more fully.

The first proverb listed has a great explanation that helps me to more fully understand the meaning, does
anyone know the meanings of the other ones?

Also any other Melanesian or PNG proverbs and their explanations would be great.

Thanks!

 
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Ralph Hamilton

Ok

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October 24 2013, 6:43 AM 

Mr Wright.

To understand my one, you have to look at the historical context of the occupation of PNG.

First the Germans. Often referred to by the PNG lapuns (old men) when I was a young bloke. as: "Taim bilong gutpela Masta." = Time of the good whiteman/Boss.

This was because you always knew where you stood. The Germans were the Masta 24/7, always were, and always would be. If you stuffed up you got beaten, and that was it. Any young German soldier showing interest in any of the local ladies, was shipped home so fast his feet never touched the ground.

Then the Australians came. They would be your friend one day, and the ranting cranky (mad) Masta the next. They would bed the local ladies at will, without asking permission of anyone. This caused a lot of ill feeling. The local ladies were too overawed by the whitey, to refuse. How would you or I feel, if this person you had never seen before, came into your village, and started screwing your sister, girlfriend or whoever?

So thus: "Masta bilong Ostrelia I gat tupela pes."

The Australian Boss has two faces. (is two faced, if you will)

Regards......Ralph.

 
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Ralph Hamilton

Da Beach

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October 24 2013, 6:49 AM 

Wantok,
can you do that one in Motu? My Motu is not good enough for that.

Regards......Ralph

 
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Rokrok

Here Is Another

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October 24 2013, 10:22 AM 

Em garamut na ba yu harim !

 
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Jwright

What is the meaning?

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October 24 2013, 12:34 PM 

Rokrok,

Can you help me understand the deeper meaning of this one, "Em garamut na ba yu harim"? In what kind of a context might this be used?

Thanks so much!

 
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Rokrok

rough explanation

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October 24 2013, 8:01 PM 

Garamut is a slit drum . The sound is it's voice.This voice can carry long distances to announce meetings, call individuals, issue warnings, and even contact neighboring villages.... More than just an instrument, this drum is central to the lives the entire community.

however some people are very subtle even to the point of soundlessness to achieve a goal , thereby you can say - Em Garamut na ba yu harim(?) Said in a question or statement form.


Rough translation [ Is it a drum that you will hear ? ]


A good example is when a good girl of social standing gets pregnant & everyone is like , what the ... she was having an affair with that guy all along and we didn't know about it ?

That is when you come in and say 'Wonem (what) ? Em garamut na ba yu harim'


It can be use in other context to.Usually about the community having little to no clue or evidence about something.But it's happening.


 
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Jwright

Tankyu Tru!

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October 24 2013, 12:31 PM 

Ralph Hamilton,
Thanks so much for that explanation, that was very helpful. Do you have any insight into the full meaning of the "pik i bikpela samting" proverb??
Thanks!

 
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Ralph Hamilton

Ccutiously

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October 25 2013, 2:45 AM 

Mr Wright,
I will attempt to explain the "Pik I bigpela samting" - one.

However, I feel it is a bit presumptuous of me to do so. I defer to any PNG person who wishes to explain it.

The way I see it: In traditional village life, a pig has/had great importance as a symbol of wealth and power. The pig is the centrepiece of any exchange of goods, such as bride Price, or kompensashun claim.(compensation) Before the coming of the whitey, and money, a typical Bride Price might be so, many pigs, so many Kina shells, so many chooks, so many taro, and so on. In the Highlands, a pig would probably have had more value than a wife. (My opinion)

Therefore a pig had immense value in more ways than one, both social and monetary. Therefore, "Pik i bikpela samting" is an allegory,(metaphor) and an allusion to a matter of great importance. It could also be a sarcastic observation of a fat overfed politician. ie. He looks like a fat pig, and thinks he is amazingly important too. This latter meaning is a new one though, and did not come about until recent years, and the advent of the Modified Westminster form of Government (Parliament)

The addition of words and meanings happens all the time. Tokpisin is linguistically a "Creole" and is a living, breathing, developing language. The only languages which do not develop are dead ones. eg. Latin. Although even Latin can be extended to describe a cigarette - Un fistula tabaci grabi.:) I must not start on languages, linguistics, and the ethnology thereof. I could ramble on forever.

Aufwiedersehen......Ralph.







 
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de' Vice-1

Re: PNG proverbs

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October 25 2013, 2:35 AM 

here are a few modern ones:

"ronim tewel blo em" - scare the whatsitcall outa him/her?
"mi kaikai lewa* blo yu" - (*o samla arapla part blo body) - ??? i dig u passionately???
"yu kam gud eh" - yu the answer to my desires???
"yu karim yah!" - yu got it (whatever i desire) all??
"em igat namba" -......
"lapun na whip yet" -.....

etc...(add on)

 
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Ralph Hamilton

Whip?

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October 26 2013, 8:21 PM 

@de Vice-1.

I thought it was wip not whip.

ie. Lapun na wip yet.

"wip" is a prime example of a new word. It is not in any dictionary of Tokpisin, I have seen.

Am I mistaken in the meaning.

Lapun na wip yet = Old man yes, but I can still get it up.

Yu tok mi harim yu......Ralph.

 
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Ralph Hamilton

Re Whip.

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October 27 2013, 9:03 AM 

I did that badly. I was doing something else simultaneously.

My translation was in the first person.

ie. Mi lapun ya, na mi gat wip yet.

I'm old yes, but I can still get it up.(If need be/If needs must)

 
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disgusted

Expats will always be protected on pngscape

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November 3 2013, 9:43 AM 

PNG voices will be wiped out but Ralph's voice will be allowed to stand.

PNGSCAPE is a dead site condemed to the rubbish bin of websites thanks to this kind of attitude.

 
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Resident Gay Stalker at it again!

Re: Expats will always be protected on pngscape

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November 3 2013, 10:41 AM 

Rubbish bin of dead websites??? You sound like the resident gay, muslim, stalker, who trolls around on this site ready to castigate anyone who does not measure up to you own views and opinions.

Get stuffed wanker!!

 
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Ralph Hamilton

Mr Wright

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November 3 2013, 1:48 PM 

Mate,
you can see the crap one has to put up with, when one tries to help.

This site, is verily, the disinformation and abuse site.

A couple of suggestions. Search for the Mihalic Project. Fr. Frank Mihalic wrote The Dictionary and Grammar of Melanesian Tokpisin. You should be able to get a copy from a second hand book site. If you want, I will give you the address of a book store I have used before, they are very good.

Divine Word University at Madang has a repository of Tokpisin papers. There may be a charge, but you can probably get copies of some.It may however involve a trip to Madang to browse through them. No hardship though, Madang is beautiful. The Uniting Church used to have the Tokpisin Bibel, a project in which I had the privilege to play a minor part.

I also have a copy of Little Red Riding Hood in Tokpisin. "Liklik Rotpela Hat". It is on that soft floppy vinyl. If I can get it copied onto DVD, I will give you a copy. It is one of the few things I salvaged from the 2011 flood. Ah! Memorabilia.

Regards......Ralph.

 
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