DWU Cultural Show after COVID-19: Speech by Fr. Philip Gibbs

DWU Cultural Show after COVID-19: Speech by Fr. Philip Gibbs


Divine Word University has celebrated its Cultural Day on the 20th of August at Madang after two years of COVID-19 pandemic in PNG.

DWU President Professor Fr. Philip Gibbs says, “Who are we and how can we be Papua New Guineans in this modern world? How can we find a place in the commercial, industrial and political world without losing our souls?

“We witness here today the cultural relevance that is striking and colorful, rich, and diverse. And the Kundus and the Garamuts are with us to the rhythm of traditional values, social time, hospitality, of sharing which are the reversed of the cartelistic values that seek our attention in today’s world.”

Photography by Richard Kengori

“Hopefully, the Kundu and the Garamuts are also the reminders of who we are. In Papua New Guinea, I am not just I, I am a person and reference to my family and reference to my clan and my clan has a story.” “Every clan has a story and, in the songs, and dances that we are remaindered of today we hear about those stories. “The uniqueness of this event at Divine Word University is the story of Papua New Guinea. Every province of Papua New Guinea has represented more shows than any other culture shows in Papua New Guinea.”

“From the West Sepik and the Western Province, right through to Manus and New Ireland and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Photography by Richard Kengori

“It’s a most striking witness of the richness of Papua New Guinea diversity. Divine Word University is a premier institution for learning but here learning is not just about medicine or business studies. Our programs include closes on Melanesian wisdom and the underline purposes of student’s transformation is what we see here today is just one aspect of the learning experience.”

“Many for several weeks, students have been taking time out from the library and spending time to meet with all the relatives and wantoks to go more deeply and to learn and participate in the stories of their people.”

“We see here traditional culture which mentions who we are. Sadly, there is also growing cultural violence in Papua New Guinea which must be confronted. I suspected that such cultural violence is fueled by the loss of values from traditional culture.”

Photography by Richard Kengori

“The terrible violence against women that we see in recent times is not part of traditional culture. That sort of violence runs quite contrary to traditional values and our leaders and anyone who can see themselves as educated must be confronted.”

“In conclusion, I thank everyone who has contributed in so many ways to today’s event. You will notice I do not call it a show because it’s more than a show.”

“Today’s event is the celebration of life. PNG may struggle financially but PNG will never be poor. We will only become poor if we lose the memory of our stories.”

Photography by Richard Kengori

“A country that loses its stories, loses its personality, loses its identity, loses its God-given uniqueness, loses its soul.”

“Today’s event helps us appreciate the wealth of Papua New Guinea Cultures.”

“God bless Papua New Guinea.”

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