By DULCIE OREKE
PAPUA New Guinea is blessed with many diverse cultures and art forms but recognition for those who contribute to them is lacking, Ambassador of France Alain Waquet said.
“We have always supported the promotion of cultural diversity because the world has entered a phase of globalisation, in which local cultures, languages and identities are at stake and endangered,” he said.
Stressing French president Nicholas Sarkozy’s calls, he said: “We do not want a flattened world. We do not want a uniform world. We want diversity.”
At the launch of a book titled Twisting knowledge and emotions: Modern bilums of Papua New Guinea at the Parliament’s state conference hall last Thursday, Mr Waquet said: “This book represents a valuable effort to promote local identities.
“It also highlights the real ‘savoir faire’ of PNG women as key contributors to nation-building and as invaluable participants to the world of art and culture.
“The Alliance Francaise (AF) de Port Moresby is an association that promotes efficient links between France and PNG in the field of culture and education.
“This book also represents a concrete example of a successful support instead of an expression of intentions.”
Mr Waquet said the AF also wanted to support writing in PNG.
“We hope that this book on string bags will become a cornerstone in an education valourising local knowledge at its best.
“In promoting cultural diversity, in developing partnership with PNG institutions and cultural actors, and in supporting writing in PNG, the AF and the French embassy want to engage in partnership and give support to what makes sense for Papua New Guineans,” he added.