By ELIAS LARI
CHILDREN owe their parents a lot for the life that they have. In the villages, there are parents who pay extra attention to their kids to make sure they get a good education, have food to eat most of the time and have a good grounding for when they leave home to face the world on their own.
How people conduct themselves and the successes they might have in adulthood, many times, boils down to the kind of homes they grew up in. In a way, our upbringing plays a big part in determining how we turn out as adults.
In PNG there is no such thing as the nuclear family where a husband and wife and their child or children live in a house on their own and fend for themselves.
Here, children sometimes live with their parents, even after they marry and have children, for as long as they want.
This has been the norm for as long as they know. One upside of this traditional arrangement is that when the parents grow old, their live-in children and grandchildren take care of them. The arrangement also means that kids have access to grandparents, uncles, aunts and get to know all their close relatives and kinsfolk.
Nowadays, many children move away from their parents to work, or live with their spouse elsewhere and the old people are left to fend for themselves. The old people are given an occasional visit by their children, and in this day and age, are given a call every now on mobile phones. A family from Western Highlands last month gathered together to pay homage to their grandmother whom they described as “the best mother, grandmother and great grandmother in their entire lives.”
The Pugim family of the Moge Komnuka clan in Mt Hagen got together to say thank you to old Clara Nemong at Las Warakum where the family resides. The family says they realised that the blessings they now enjoy in life came about through a lot of input from their grandma Nemong.
She had been there for them in their growing up years and had made sure they had good attributes to face the world when they left home.
They believe that she has lived life to the fullest, as well as live to a ripe old age because God has been good to her. The gathering was to also remind Nemong that the children will always be there for her. Nemong has five children, three sons and two daughters. At last count, she also had 23 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. She comes from the Jika Komapi clan of Mt Hagen and was married to Pugim Keia from the Moge Komnuka clan of Mt Hagen.
During the family get-together, she was pleased to discover that two of her sons Simon and John Pugim and grandson Mathew Pawa were all pastors of the Pentecostal Church.
Her exact age could not be figured but according to one of her grandson Steven Sukot, Nemong had said she was around 9 or 10 when she saw the first explorer Jim Taylor while visiting Mt Hagen in 1922.
Nemong would point to children between the ages of 9 or 10 and say she was that age when the first explorers arrived.
Her grandson Ps Pawa said Nemong was kindhearted towards everyone and readily forgave anyone who did her, or her family wrong.
“The reason for us to come together is to acknowledge Nemong and remind her that her family has fulfilled the vision she had for them.
“She is still healthy and can talk and does not complain of any ailment,” Pawa said.
Pawa said parents are very important in making sure their children grow up to be happy and satisfied adults and he warned young people against mistreating or swearing at their parents.
“I see many come up with such habits but this is not the right attitude towards the parents.
“Parents need the respect, care and support. This is the time to give back to our parents and tell them that their effort to raise us (children) was not a waste of time and money,’ Pawa said.
The meeting on Tuesday March 7 was the first time that the family got together as one big group to especially thank their mother, grandmother and great grandmother.
Sukot said: “these are the kind people that need to be acknowledged in future.”
“Just think of how they cared for you and played their part to make sure you grew up to live like you are today.”
“I want to encourage other people to also acknowledge their parents and to do what they can for them.
“We are happy to see that old Clara has accomplished her vision for the children,” Sukot said.
There is untold happiness when children visit parents, or a parent to say thank you for raising them up.
The bible also teaches us to respect our parents to heed their advice.
By ELIAS LARI