The National, Tuesday 18th September, 2012
PUBLIC Enterprise and State Investment Minister Ben Micah has urged young people to hold onto and protect their cultural heritage rather than adopting the imported “plastic culture”.
Micah made the remarks to students at Mt Diamond Adventist Secondary School last Sunday on the occasion of the school’s arts exhibition festival.
“Losing the taste of indigenous arts and values and fabricating it with popular culture is breeding evil.”
“As such, we are getting into a new form of culture called plastic culture,” Micah said.
“I am happy to see you teachers teaching our children to uphold good arts and values that do not lead us away from our faith in God, who created our diverse cultures on the day he changed our languages.
“You will see that one day our culture will be as gold because it is rich, colourful, simple and primitive.”
“As developed nations want to get away from concrete jungles and artificial cultures to see primitiveness,” he said.
He gave an example of his Emirau Island, in Musaau, New Ireland, where his ancestor’s Totem pole, a primitive art, found in a museum in England, was now worth millions but the current generation was not taught that as it was seen as sin by the missionaries.
Micah donated some money and pledged to push for a proposal from Central Governor Kila Haoda for the refurbishing of the science laboratory, which was one of the reasons for the festival.
The dancers in the show dressed and performed modestly.
Other arts items such as cultural drama and spiritual singing were performed.
Handicrafts, artefacts and traditional food dishes were displayed and sold.
Micah and the festival sponsors were taken around provincial stalls and were treated to traditional recipes.
Festival chairman Thomas Kalas acknowledged the presence of Micah, Lands and Physical Planning Minister Benny Allen, Haoda and companies that had helped put the show together.