On 16 September, over 50 Papua New Guineans gathered at Bernd and Margaret Nickel’s residence in Berlin. They were joined by Papua New Guinea’s Ambassador to Germany and the European Union.
The garden party celebration featured cultural perfomances from New Ireland and Central, supported by performances from the Indonesian Province of West Papua and the Cook Islands. Papuan New Guinean arts and craft were also displayed.
Ambassador Joshua Kalinoe thanked his countrymen and their families for promoting the PNG culture and heritage abroad.
He quoted a text from Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s independence speech that although PNG was 42 years old, its people and culture are among the oldest in the world.
He said the Kup heritage site in Western Islands indicates that Papua New Guineans are among the first people to have practised organised agriculture.
He said they should be proud of their identity as Papua New Guineans despite the negativity portrayed by social media.
He told those that had gathered that they are the best ambassadors for Papua New Guinea and they could help in correcting the negative perceptions of the country.
Ambassador Kalinoe appealed to the audience, including those in Papua New Guinea, to use social media wisely. He suggested that we should talk about the positive things that Papua New Guineans are doing to develop our country.
“We have Papua New Guineans excelling themselves in all walks of life, including promoting and preserving our culture and heritage, business and the professions,” stated Kalinoe.
“We have pilots flying and commanding jet aircrafts in the country and abroad, some of the best scientists, doctors and engineers in the world.
“Let’s talk about how we could be innovative in bringing changes to the way we are doing things and how the Government can improve on delivering goods and services for the betterment of ourselves and our country.
“Let us not use the social media to talk about issues that would rubbish ourselves and destroy the future of our young generation and those generations yet to come.
“We can use the social media constructively for our development and progress as a people and nation by sharing positive ideas,” Ambassador Kalinoe said.
He also used the opportunity to explain to the audience the application of the newly introduced law on multiple citizenship.
(Enjoying the garden party Independence celebrations dinner in Berlin, Germany. A whole roasted pig and aigir were the highlights of the independence meal)