By ISAAC LIRI
IF someone asks for one word that aptly describes unity in PNG, I can think of nothing else but the word Kumul.
Papua New Guinea is blessed with all species of plants and animals, and one of those significant animals that truly stands out because it is unique to PNG is the Bird of Paradise, called Kumul in Tok Pisin.
The word Kumul is used by various groups within the country to signify their association to the country. Two of those that quickly come to mind are Kumul Telikom PNG Holdings and Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited. Even the Kumul flyover which is the first large scale flyover road network in PNG had to be named after the bird that is PNG’s national emblem.
One of the most notable groups that have adopted the name is PNG’s national rugby league team, PNG Kumuls.
As a native creature of our beloved home, a home with over 800 languages and as many different tribes, the Bird of Paradise is one uniting symbol that metaphorically soars above the coup and holds everyone together.
Saturday Oct 28 will certainly be a day to remember for all Papua New Guineans whether they follow rugby league or not. Our beloved Kumuls won many hearts that day with a historic 50-6 victory over Wales Dragons in their first game in the World Cup encounter here in Port Moresby.
Everyone worked hard, and together, to be “a champion team collectively and not a team made up of champions,” as described by PNG Rugby Football League chairman Sandis Tsaka, after the match.
The Kumuls are a team comprising of champion players from all over PNG and their win is a reminder that Papua New Guineans can be a better people, and progress can be quicker, if we all work hard, and together as a team, we can champion many great causes for our country in many different aspects of development and nation-building.
The will of everyone that day, spectators at the National Football Stadium, TV viewers, radio listeners, was united. The Kumuls must win. And win they did and one big roar could be heard all around the country.
With that moment now done and dusted off, the next mission for the PNG Kumuls is to repeat the same performance against Ireland Wolfhounds on Sunday. An even bigger hurdle awaits them in the next match in the form of the US Foxes.
Although Ireland and USA are not considered rugby league super powers like Australia, New Zealand and England, the team that plays together better will come out trumps.
Kumuls coach Michael Marum has sternly instructed his men that there is no room for underestimation and that their greatest enemy is themselves.
All of PNG stands together in hoping that once again, our strong and elegant male Raggianas, will soar over the other team this weekend in the game against Ireland and once more make us proud. All our hopes and best wishes are pinned on you, PNG Kumuls.
By ISAAC LIRI