Youth: Dance events create social ills

National, Normal

The National, Thursday 15th December 2011

A YOUTH from Pororan Island in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, is calling on traditional chiefs in the region to control dance events or Pitanlan that communities engage in to raise funds.
Vincentcia Nima said incidences of family violence, rape, drug and alcohol abuse had increased dramatically in rural communities since its introduction last year.
And to address this, local chiefs in North Bougainville are suggesting if the Pitanlan could be done during the day other than having the event held at night over the weekend.
Nima said the increased incidences of family violence in her community was rife but was not confident to tell her leaders until Care International PNG introduced her to the use of photography to communicate her concerns.
The non-governmental organisation, through its Komunity Tingim AIDS (KTA) programme, involved Nima as part of its target group of peer educators conducting awareness on HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections.
The awareness identified related social issues like drugs and alcohol and encouraged the peer educators to build advocacy against these issues through the use of photography.
After undergoing four months of training on basic photography along with 20-plus youths from Tinputz and Buka, Nima finally had the chance to voice her concern.
“When we were asked to identify an issue that has a negative impact on our community, I knew this was my chance to tell my chiefs about the impact of Pitanlan by taking a picture of the after effect of Pitanlan,” Nima said.
The picture Nima took and which was displayed at a photo voice exhibition held in Buka on Monday was of an aluminium cooking pot that had dents on it from having been used by a drunkard as a weapon to hit his wife after returning from a Pitanlan.
“Please, our chiefs have to either stop
all Pitanlan or be strict on monitoring what is happening at these dances.
“Right now, when you go to these dances, you see young men smoking marijuana or are consuming homebrew and it is not safe for women and children,” Nima said.