Let’s turn a genuine mistake into a promotional tool

Letters, Normal

I THANK David Kiza (Oct 12) for his comments in response to my letter “Let’s seize a lifetime opportunity” (The National, Oct 7).
Unfortunately, he missed my whole point. 
The analogy is noted, but we are not having a dispute with anyone so let’s not create one when there is none.
I agree that we should respect and appreciate our culture, but the protest group, the US Tea Party did not as he puts it “… try to make a fool of our culture.”
The truth is they made a genuine mistake of assuming our PNG traditional costume can be passed off as a Kenyan witchdoctor’s garb (president Barack Obama is half-Kenyan). 
The Tea Party did not do this deliberately to offend PNG but meant it as a satire and not as a racist slur upon their president.
Why did they do it? 
Well, many people in the US are not happy with the president’s proposed health reforms. 
The Tea Party were only expressing its displeasure by showing Obama as a witchdoctor who will either fix America’s health care system or get many citizens killed as a result of some perceived flaws in the reforms. 
So rather than get uptight about the whole thing, let’s turn this into a positive promotional effort for both countries’ mutual benefit. 
Let’s not get too bogged down with any perceived negative aspect but seize upon the mistake by the Tea Party to promote our Huli culture and PNG. 
This will make people around the world see where we are and fully appreciate what a unique and colourful culture PNG has.
Obama in our PNG traditional dress is now on several blog sites seen by millions of people on the internet. 
This opportunity may not come along again, so our tourism promotion agencies should capitalise on it. 


Reginald Renagi