23 October 2020
A poem about identity and unity and the things
that make us different yet interlink us
I am from land,
from river, sea and mountain.
I am from valley and volcano,
from chilly mountain breeze and steaming lava.
I am from mother, father, uncle and aunty,
proud in traditions, passed through generations.
I am from a wild,
yet structured social organisation,
of stories untold and yet to be told,
lingering in the present and seeping to the future.
I’m from village and hauslain,
from clan, tribe and totem,
from haus tambaran and hausman.
I’m from round-house and long-house,
from haus-kuk, hausboi and hausmeri.
I’m from high covenant home and the Pineapple Building,
from Kapal Haus and Deloitte Tower.
I’m from coconut and betel nut,
from fish, magani and pig
I’m from Ox & Palm, Dolly and Diana,
from Trukai rice, lamb flap, sago and Whagi Besta
I’m from the highland and island
from the coast and atoll.
I’m from Krapehem and Gararua,
clans I have yet to make proud.
From conch shell, tavur, pig tusk and garamut,
whose wisdom I have yet to acquire.
I’m from mainline church and evangelical church,
from Catholic and Lutheran,
to SSEC, CRC, COC and AOG.
I’m from spirit and masalai,
from dukduk and tumbuan.
I’m from Mande Tuo, Datagaliwabe and Yaweh
from God-Three-One and the One-True-God,
who my ancestors knew by many names.
The mat and the laplap,
on which I sleep,
provide me no extra warmth
from freezing temperature.
But the dream that I dream,
of my forefathers’ legacy,
comforts me all my days,
until I meet them again.
I’m from Dareni Primary School and Awaba Secondary School,
from UPNG, Unitech and UOG,
from student groups,
standing and walking tall and free.
I’m from many faces and many places,
many beliefs and many voices.
I’m from only one place on earth.
I am from Papua New Guinea.
This poem first appeared on PNG Attitude on 28 July 2016 at https://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2016/07/where-am-i-from.html.