It was a day for honouring and remembering people born in villages, with open houses, who have to make and grow everything they have – those whose islands may be going under, and they may have to mass migrate.
I had an enlightening yarn up with a Papua New Guinean Australian lady I have met at the place where I tutor. There’s a common room where staff and students often mingle including the more transient sessional academics, who tutor.
Today we talked about culture, opportunities for the young in the Pacific, our travels, growing up Papua New Guinean in Australian, and I always feel like I understand something more after our yarns. On another note we discussed pigs, colonisation, and chickens. I won’t go into our private yarn up too much, but plenty of deep thinking conversation not to mention laughter. Reminds me of visits and yarns with my dear friend Lima up in Tully
My mum was the caretaker of the pigs, and eventually they would end up at feast. Pigs are there, weddings and funerals, and there was one at my wedding in Hobart. That’s one way to be PNG in Australia, have the pig at the important events.
When I arrived home my mum emailed me that an older brother had passed away. She was, understandably pretty sad about it, and rarely travels to Papua New Guinea which makes that loss even harder (no closure from the funeral), although she often sends parcels and does major projects to give back to the community she grew up in.
This week has been wonderful for discovering a whole stack of Pasifika writers. I did a shout out on my twitter and Lani Wendt Young, who I met briefly at her book launch sent me a shout out back. Loving visiting their blogs and discovering more about the newer Pasifika writers. Hope I can join their wonderful company!
When the holidays arrive and tutoring is finished for the year, will be great to explore their texts, write more of my stories, and hoping and dreaming that Magic Fish Dreaming comes true. Not long to kickstarter lift off, just a few more jobs and away we go.
(On another note looking forward to Mel Irvine being back in Australia soon!)
(c) June Perkins