PAPUA New Guinea’s cultures and traditions have broken down, Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology Michael Ogio said at the culture and violence symposium at the Divine Word University in Madang yesterday.
He said dancing and singing alone does not represent PNG culture.
Mr Ogio said culture was how different communities lived and worked together or how people traditionally behaved.
“But most of the traditions are fast dying-out and breaking up and we are confused with the introduced culture,” Mr Ogio said.
He added that gender-based violence were occurring because of the breakdown in traditional values.
Chancellor of Australian Catholic University Br Julian McDonald said in his presentation that there were positivity and negativity in the Melanesian culture.
He said among the positives was the wantok system which protected the safety and rights of family members when these came under threat – by injustice, violence and social deprivation.
He added that the village law enforcement and adjudication of dispute delivered an acceptable and effective level of fairness and justice.
Mr McDonald said the threat to PNG values and cultures were evident with the increased domestic violence, particularly the physical and sexual abuse of women.
The challenge, he added, was to work together to find solutions.
“Serious research have to be undertaken to identify causes of violence and to find manageable solutions.
“The whole community must be made to know that violence is not acceptable and violence against women must be prevented,” he said.