The National, Wednesday August 08th, 2012
By ABIGAIL APINA
LAST Saturday marked a significant moment for the Livan clan (Marmar) of East New Britain when they adopted an elderly African woman.
Rosella Thiang is African with Australian citizenship and is married to Chinese man Arthur Thiang.
She was adopted into the Livan clan to be a sister to Janet ToRoberts, wife of Sir Henry ToRoberts.
Rosella and her husband flew into the country last Friday for her adoption ceremony.
It is understood that Rosella and Janet knew each other in Australia and had established a friendship that turned into family.
Janet and her family decided then to traditionally adopt Rosella into their clan so they could be recognised as sisters.
While addressing a huge crowd of people from the clan who gathered to welcome the new member, clan leaders said adoption ceremonies in a Tolai traditional approach were not common in the province these days.
They said they appreciated the couple for travelling a long distance to take part in the ceremony.
They said there was a need for people to strengthen such traditions.
Rosella said she was happy and blessed to be part of a new family as it signified the bond she shared with Janet for 35 years.
“She is sincere and very hard working and I am happy to be part of her family,” Rosella said.
The ceremony took place in Makurapau ward, Kokopo, and included the exchanging of Tolai shell money (tabu) with the clans involved, gifts (tabu) presented to the Thiangs (Warlapang) and traditional dances presented by members of the clan.
Sir John Kaputin took part in the ceremony as a guest and friend of Sir Henry and his family.