Young Papua New Guineans use Tik Tok to teach and preserve their language

By Hilda Wayne, Jordan Fennell on Pacific Beat – ABC News

Social media is often blamed for eroding traditional culture but two sisters, Lisa Marie and Emma Papa, are flipping the script.

They’re using Tik Tok to teach their native Enga dialect and have found that people are excited to learn.

“We’re starting off with the basics first then we’re moving onto pronouns the deeper we get in we’re doing it in parts so we’re heading in that direction,” Lisa said.

The girls have posted five videos with the first of the videos having already been viewed more than 84,000 times.

Australian National University Linguistics expert Danielle Barth said it’s the first time she’s seen the social media platform used to keep language going.

“I think it’s a great idea especially for languages where we don’t have heaps of resources for,” she said.

“Tik Tok is a great way to do it because people engage with it.”

Emily Papa is hoping that other young Papua New Guineans will follow their lead.

“[To] showcase their culture and be proud of who they are as Papua New Guineans,” she said.

Published by Ples Singsing

Ples Singsing is envisioned to be a new platform for Papua Niuginian expressions of creativity, ingenuity and originality in art and culture. We deliberately highlight these two very broad themes as they can encompass the diverse subjects, from technology, medicine and architecture to linguistics, music, fishing, gardening et cetera. Papua Niuginian ways of thinking, living, believing, communicating, dying and so on can cover the gamut of academic, journalistic or opinionated writing and we believe that unless we give ourselves a platform to talk about and discuss these things in an open, free and non-exclusively academic space that they may remain the fodder for academics, journalists and other types of writers alone. New social media platforms have given every individual a personal space to share their feelings and ideas openly, sometimes without immediate censure. The Ples Singsing writer’s blog would like to provide another more structured platform for Papua Niuginian expressions in written, visual and audio formats while also providing some regulation of the type and content of materials to be shared publicly.

2 thoughts on “Young Papua New Guineans use Tik Tok to teach and preserve their language

  1. As a Sulka/Rabaul/Kavieng/Buka mix, I wish to firstly thank Gregory Bali’s for his work with 2nd22 Battalion Lark Force Mapping and story.
    My first time to read I and am extremely pleased to read Ples Singsing that today’s generation can use social media to endeavour and preserve/explain/share culture. Our PNG Culture & Heritages is so diverse that some indigenous languages and their way of life are being interrupted by current trends and influences aka slangs, short cuts, children born or growing away/too far from their ‘country’ I.e. Sulka speaking, or Rabaul Speaking (Kuanua) Kavieng speaking, or Buka etc.
    The emphasis on language and culture is paramount especially with PNG’S Rich and diverse culture and language (over some 800 different ones with around 1000, there is urgent need for language groups to invest into a comprehensive language development drive.
    With this, comes the need for collaboration between linguist entities and significant triibal Elders or otherwise.
    Budgets and are always a sticky point, with infrastructure and human resources.
    The History of WW11 in itself and involvement of local indigenous people assisting Australians and Allied Forces in defence against Japanese forces, is one of the events needing coorperative and joint approaches by Australian and PNG Governments.
    The contents of my comments are somewhat ‘all over the place’ however I am an advocate for change and patriotic to preventing culture and stories, art, music, etc…
    Thank you Ples Singsing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Corrections to my recent post;
    1. Gregory Bablis and NOT Balis as AUTO SPELLCHECK.
    2. Public apologies on my comments, the second section not relevant to the TOPIC of ‘Use of TIKTOK’ to teach language.


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