If you’re driving around Port Moresby, chances are you’ll come across street sellers who will be waiving mini flags in front of you, trying to make you buy from them. Drive around another street and you’ll see the same thing.
Other than the fact that these kids should be at school and not on the streets, the selling of regional flags during this Independence week is concerning.
The country is about to celebrate its 41 years since independence and here we are observing things that can lead to regionalism.
In a country like Papua New Guinea where there are many different traditions and cultures, regionalism has the potential to create a negative effect in our society.
As reminder, Independence day is a celebration of Papua New Guinea as a nation and the day (including the days leading to it) should be a celebration of unity. The selling of regional flags tends to defeat this purpose.
And to make things worse, people who are educated enough to understand what this day means are buying them and ultimately buying into the idea of regionalism. Perhaps not directly but essentially the buying has that regionalism effect.
But one has to ask – who is selling or at least arranging for these flags to be sold? Obviously, the sellers are on-sellers of these products but who eventually profits from all this?
The commercialisation of this day in the way we have pointed out should be outlawed. It should be banned.
Acts of regionalism as we have seen on the sporting field has disastrous consequences. The selling of regional flags still instils that regionalism mentality.
We’re not saying regionalism should be done away with, no not at all. But Independence day should be celebrated in the way it should be to achieve the intended purpose and that is, We are One Nation, One Country.
Each province has its own flag and each province has its own provincial day that is celebrated with cultural dances and singsings. People should celebrate their province on the designated day and not on the days leading to 16 September. That day should be for all Papua New Guineans. Only Papua New Guinean flags should be sold.
On that same note, people from other Provinces should be encouraged to celebrate and buy flags of a province that is celebrating their day. It shows mutual respect and association for each other.
Please ban these provincial flags from being sold on a day we should all be celebrating Papua New Guinea.