Hope For Culture To Thrive as Artefact Returns To House
By REBECCA KUKU ( The National )
Restoring cultural decorations of the National Parliament will ensure that the younger generation will not forget their roots, says Grand Chief Sir Micheal Somare.
Sir Michael said the decorations signified the diverse culture of the people of Papua New Guinea and showed their unity in the Parliament House.
He said people must understand the value of the artefacts and know that not only were they a source of decoration but a form of our cultural heritage.
“As we transit into the modern world, the decorations in Parliament will be a reminder of who we were.
“Future generations will see it and ask why the decorations were there and the story will be retold of people with diverse cultures who united to become one country, Papua New Guinea.”
Somare said with over 800 languages and different cultures in the country, it was important that we preserve our history.
“In the 80s when we wanted to build the National Parliament, we wanted it to be a monumental statement that captured the diversity of our cultural heritage,” he said.
“When the constitution was written, people from all over the country were consulted.
“We decorated the Parliament House with cultural decorations from across the nation to show the world who we were, that despite the many different cultures we had united to become one country,” he said.
Sir Michael said that the decorations were a form of identification for the people.
“I am happy that the decorations will be restored but I am also sad because the fact remains that some of those craftsman who designed and created those decorations are no longer with us,” he said.
“And those artefacts that were damaged may not be restored to their original phase.”