Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Using Media Technologies for Cultural Expressions

Young Cultural Dancer at Waigani Primary School 2009
The quick pace of electronic media development in the world has no time to wait for people like me. Until recently, more specifically, a month ago, I found myself, entering the world of Facebook as a reluctant traveller. Like so many people I know about these technological innovations that are shaping the world second by second and minute by minute. Like many people, the decision to participate in these technologies, is one of experiment and see where it leads me to.

Apart from discovering many people I know on Facebook I also realized that there are many wonderful things one could do with electronic media technologies. Apart from developing one’s own social network you can have instant communication with friends online, share conversations on common topics, post notices, links to news and information of interests, and even share photographs and videos. One could easily do that with mobile phones, laptops, or from a desktop anywhere in the world.

I have been keeping a blog: http://www.stevenswindow.blogspot.com  for along time that when I discovered I could link my blog to my Facebook page I was thrilled. Now I can update my blog every week and have it linked to the Facebook as a way of sharing my thoughts and experiences as posted on my blog. Since I moved to Hawaii five months ago I hardly wrote every week or have any PNG visitors to my blog. Now with a link to my Facebook and a redesigned home page I have a slow trickle of visitors from PNG to the blog.

I have already shared two recent posts on my blog with readers and Facebook friends. Now I am posting a short videoclip of Waigani Primary School Cultural Day in 2009. The video captures the cultural pride displayed by our children in their schools. My children like other children in their school enjoy participating in their school cultural days.

This short video, I hope, will inspire others to take advantage of the electronic media technologies at our doorsteps by using them to promote cultural pride in our people. There are already hundreds of short videos on the internet, especially on YouTube. Some of them are very good that I have found them as useful teaching materials. Imagine if we have millions of short videos made by Papua New Guineans about themselves it could change the way other people see us.  My favourite is this video "Moresby Modern Trailer".

Visual image is a powerful medium today. For example, PNG music videos that people enjoy watching are popular to many PNG viewers. Some of these are now available on the internet.

Making good short video documentaries that many people can access and enjoy is good, but I think making full video documentaries is one challenge for Papua New Guineans to think about. The reasons for full length documentaries are many. This year’s Oscar nominated film "Sun Come Up", for example is a video documentary about rising sea levels and the associated catastrophy on small island communities in PNG.

I have benefited from using previews of film documentaries made by non Papua New Guineans about Papua New Guinea. I am looking forward to the day when Papua New Guineans will take up the challenge to make their own full length film documentaries and feature films soon that can touched the world.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Walking on Wa`ahila Ridge

One of the things I wanted to do was to walk up the ridge next to the University of Hawaii in Manoa Valley. The ridge is known as the Wa’ahila Ridge.

I wanted to get a different perspective to the one I already have walking between the buildings of the University of Hawaii at Manoa and of the Waikiki metropolitan area.

I also wanted to do this walk because the day was gorgeous for such an activity. I also live at the foothills of the ridge in the Wa`ahila Faculty Apartments.

With a perfect day and the mind to tackle the three hours hike up Wa`ahila Ridge I rang my countryman, Muguwa Dilu, from Simbu, and asked him if he wanted to accompany me on this hike. Muguwa is studying for his Masters in Economics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He was happy to come along. Our walk began on Cole Street in between Manoa Stream and Wa`ahila Faculty Apartments. Our walk upwards would end where the Wa`ahila Ridge State Park is located.

We began our hike with Muguwa sharing stories about his experience of climbing Mt. William and seeing the breath-taking beautiful lakes and landforms in Mt. Williams. Mt. William is the highest mountain in PNG.

We took pictures as we climbed further up the ridge. The day was perfect for great shots of the University of Hawaii, the Waikiki skyline and backdrop, the Diamond Head, the Manoa Valley and the beautiful landscapes and plants along the way.

The joy of walking on Wa`ahila Ridge was that it gave us the opportunity to experience the natural environment of Hawaii as well as form a different impression of the place we have been calling our temporary home for some time now. It was a way of connecting with the natural environment on this beautiful Hawaiian island of O`ahu.

The walk brought us to discover that some of the plants and sites way up in the ridge were similar to those in our home country. Some places look like coffee gardens next to ironwood trees. Other places look and feel like places we’ve been to in Papua New Guinea. From high up in the ridge, you can get the feeling that the natural environment is the best place to recover from any anxieties and hangovers of the past week.

Rob Nelson of Explore Biodiversity.com writes about the plants of the pines at the State Park. “Cook pines (Araucaria columnaris) come from the Cook Islands. The name is misleading, as they are not pines at all but in the family Araucariaceae, a genus of 18 or 19 species found from New Guinea to New Zealand and Brazil to Chile. Interestingly its one of the few plants only natively found in the southern hemisphere.”

Along the track are plants such as koa, silk oak, strawberry guava and Christmas tree berries. Muguwa enjoyed the day picking the strawberry guava. I did not want to eat any of the berries along the track because I had no idea what they were. Muguwa told me that he knew about the guava strawberries because his adopted parents had one growing outside their house. I believed him, but no thanks.

The fun part of it was when Muguwa alarmed me to a biker who came down hill at a speed that shocked both of us. Further up the track more bikers were met.

Next week is the last week of the Spring Semester in the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Muguwa goes off to Washington DC for his internship with the UNDP. I will travel back to Port Moresby in three weeks time.

Making the walk on Wa`ahila Ridge on this day was the only time we have before the close of semester and the travels we have to make. It was worth it.

I am so refreshed after the walk that I am glad the walk was taken on this day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ples Tumbuna Long Waimea Na North Shore

Taking the trip to the North Shore of O`ahu after the Palm Sunday service was such a joy. The trip was planned the night before as John, Hala, and myself sat around the Friendship Circle at the East West Center. We just decided that it might help to put things into perspective for us to drive out of Honolulu and Waikiki, a touristic metropolitant space that overshadows the beautiful Hawaiian Island of O`ahu. There’s more one could see in O`ahu than Waikiki or the modern skyscrapers of Honolulu.

Our trip to the North Shore began on the afternoon of Palm Sunday. My wantoks John Sopa, Alfred M. Riibako (Hala) and Ishmael Togamae are from the Solomon Islands. John and Ishmael have their own cars. John is studying at the Kapiolani Community College, Ishmael is a medical doctor at a hospital in Hawaii, and Hala is completing his degree in computer science at the University of Hawaii. Our other wantok, Muguwa Dilu, from PNG decided to opt out of our trip.

We began our trip without any expectations. As soon as we drove out of Honolulu and into the mountains it began to rain. The rain was a welcoming shower for us from the gods of the land. We continued with our journey driving through pineapple farms until we descend into Haleiwa. This was farm country with the rich soil that agriculturalists made good in farming, from small plots to grand scale farming.

To reach Waimea Bay we took the Kamehameha Highway. The bay is on the north, west side of the highway (at the entrance point). We drove on until we arrived at the Wamea Valley Park. Waimea Bay is located in Haleiwa on the North Shore of O‘ahu in the Hawaiian Islands at the mouth of the Waimea River. Waimea Valley extends behind Waimea Bay. Waimea means "Red Water" in Hawaiian.

In winter, Waimea and other North Shore locations such as Pipeline and Sunset Beach host a number of surfing contests because of the large waves found here. These waves are created by winter storms in the North Pacific, and their arrival on O‘ahu's North Shore are typically forecast accurately several days in advance. In summer, Waimea typically has clear and calm water. But, we were not there for the waves, but to see the place and feel it in our skin.

We walked over to the Hale O Lono or the Hawaiian Temple. This was the first time I have visited a sacred space in Hawaii. The Hale O Lono was constructed in 1470 AD and 1700 AD. The Hale O Lono site was dedicated by the Hawaiians to Lono, one of the four principal gods of ancient Hawaii. The Hawaiian word Hei has many meanings including: to summon, to capture, or to ensnare. All implies a vibration, current, and invisible energy or power. A heiau captures spiritual power (mana). The area was noted as a possible religious site in a 1974 survey by the Bishop Musuem. Excavation, identification, and restoration began by Waimea Valley archaeologist, Rudy Mitchell, in 1985, and the first major phase was completed in 1988. It is one of the most valuable historical sites according to the Hawaiian Historical Society.

I think the visit to the Hale O Lono had a spiritual effect on us. The spiritual power or mana of the sacred place must have rubbed off on us as we left. The heiau of the place must have settled in each one of us, me particularly, because of the strong sense of respect I have for sacred indigenous spaces. As we drove out of the Waimea Valley I could not get it out of my mind. I think the vibration or the energy of the place moved with us as we followed the road back to catch a glimpse of the famous surfing sights of the North Shore.

We drove west from Waimea Bay on along the coast until we hit the dirt road towards the end of the road. Behind is the Wai‘anae Mountain range. We stopped for a short photo session. We had one more stop to make at the only airstrip on North Shore.

It was here that the currents of the ocean brought to the sandy beach a friend. The vibrations of the sea swell on the shore had brought with it a large sea turtle right up to the sandy beach. I was ecstatic with pleasure of seeing a turtle near the beach. I had never seen one so close in its natural environment. In a playful yet serious way the pleasure the turtle gave me made me write on the sand: Save the Turtles. We all gathered near the sea’s edge and felt the vibrations of the Hawaiian world through the appearance of the turtle, which seemed to enjoy the sea vibrations. It was not scared of us or of being caught. It had the playful and songful dance under the vibrations of the sea rolling up to the sandy beach and receding back to the ocean.

This experience was the highlight of this trip. I can never forget it. On the way back I tried to make sense of what I just experienced. I have been teaching about indigenous epistemologies and knowledge systems and what can I say about this? Hawaiian religion is polytheistic, believing in many deities, and is also animistic in that it is based on a belief that spirits are found in non-human beings and objects such as animals, the waves, and the sky.

According to the information provided on Wikipedia: “Hawaiian religion has four prominent deities: Kāne, Kū, Lono and Kanaloa. Other notable deities include Laka, Kihawahine, Haumea, Papahanaumoku, and, most famously, Pele. In addition, each family is considered to have one or more family guardians known as Aaumakua.

“In Hawaiian mythology, the deity Lono is associated with fertility, agriculture, rainfall, and music. In one of the many Hawaiian legends of Lono, he is a fertility and music god who descended to Earth on a rainbow to marry Laka. In agricultural and planting traditions, Lono was identified with rain and food plants. He was one of the four gods (with , Kāne, and his twin brother Kanaloa) who existed before the world was created. Lono was also the god of peace. In his honor, the great annual festival of the Makahiki was held. During this period (from October through February), war and unnecessary work was kapu (forbidden). In Hawaiian weather terminology, the winter Kona storms that bring rain to leeward areas are associated with Lono. Lono brings on the rains and dispenses fertility, and as such was sometimes referred to as Lono-makua (Lono the Provider). Ceremonies went through a monthly and yearly cycle. For 8 months of the year, the luakini was dedicated to Ku-with strict kapus. Four periods (kapu pule) each month required strict ceremonies. Violators could have their property seized by priests or overlord chiefs, or be sentenced to death for serious breaches” (www.wikipedia.org).

It was only later when I was uploading the photographs in my apartment that it dawned on me that what I had just experienced with my wantoks was a force of power (mana) that we must recognise as indigenous peoples of Oceania. Our physical world is connected to the spiritual world of our gods and ancestors. We sometimes forget this connection in our submission to the demands of modern Western world. As a result we experience all kinds of enslavement, imbalances, unsettling experiences, or difficulties in our lives. As indigenous peoples we need to embrace the vibrations and power produced by the energy given off from the merging of physical, human, animal, and spiritual world of our gods and environment.

This trip has given me a window of opportunity to learn about the spiritual world of Hawaiians and the intricate balance there is between humans, physical world, animal world, and the spiritual world. Peace emanates from that balance.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Language and Cultural Truth in Pacific Writing

Baining Fire Dancer
I will present a public lecture as part of my responsibilities as the Arthur Lynn Andrews Chair in Pacific and Asian Studies. The public lecture is a collaboration between the English Department, the Center for Pacific Islands Studies, School of Pacific and Asian Studies, University of Hawaii and the East West Center Pacific Islands Development Program. 

English Department Colloquium

"Metonymic Function of Language and Cultural Truth in Pacific Writing,"
by Steven Winduo, University of Papua New Guinea and
Arthur Lynn Andrews Chair in Pacific and Asian Studies at UH Mānoa.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

3:00 pm

UHM Kuykendall Hall, Room 410

Most literary texts in Oceania employ English as the main language of writing. The choice of English rather than the indigenous languages is preferred for a number of reasons, but with an "overlap" of language that occurs when texture, sound, rhythm, and words are carried over from the mother tongue to the adopted literary form, or when the appropriated English is adapted to a new situation. A writer may take as evidence of his or her ethnographic or differentiating function an insertion of the "truth" of culture into text (sometimes conceived as an insertion of its essential cultural "purity"). In this lecture Dr Winduo considers how various postcolonial textual strategies are at work in the English literary texts of Oceania. He argues that insertion of indigenous languages into English texts of Oceania has an important metonymic function that has received little attention by scholars of Pacific literature.

Steven Winduo is an author, a poet, and a senior lecturer in English at the University of Papua New Guinea. He is the Andrews Chair in Asian and Pacific Studies at UH Mānoa for spring semester 2011 and a visiting fellow with the Pacific Islands Development Program at the East-West Center. Dr Winduo is one of the foremost writers of Papua New Guinea. He has published three poetry collections—Lomo'ha I am, in Spirits' Voice I Call (1991), Hembemba: Rivers of the Forest (2000), and A Rower's Song (2009)— and a short-story collection, The Unpainted Mask: A Collection of Short Stories (2010). He founded and edits Savannah Flames: A Papua New Guinean Journal of Literature, Language, and Culture.

The presentation is open to the public, free of charge. It is cosponsored by the UHM Center for Pacific Islands Studies, the UHM English Department, and the EWC Pacific Islands Development Program.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lunch at the Honolulu Academy of Arts

Entrance to Honolulu Academy of Arts

After lunch at the Honolulu Academy of Arts (HAA), with Piet Lincoln, his wife and son, I was shown the gift shop in the HAA. Later I took a peak at the display of cultural and materials items in the Pacific Islands Collection on the second floor of the building. Piet is a linguist with a long term connection with the Banoni language speakers of Bougainville.

History (source www.wikipidea.org)

Anna Rice Cooke (1853–1934), daughter of New England missionaries and founder of the Honolulu Academy of Arts, in her dedication statement at the opening of the museum on April 8, 1927 said:

"That our children of many nationalities and races, born far from the centers of art, may receive an intimation of their own cultural legacy and wake to the ideals embodied in the arts of their neighbors ... that Hawaiians, Americans, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Filipinos, Northern Europeans and all other people living here, contacting through the channel of art those deep intuitions common to all, may perceive a foundation on which a new culture, enriched by the old strains may be built in the islands." —Anna Rice Cooke[4]

Born on Oʻahu in 1853, Cooke grew up on Kauaʻi island in a home that appreciated the arts. In 1874, she married Charles Montague Cooke and the two eventually settled in Honolulu. In 1882, they built a home on Beretania Street, across from Thomas Square. As Cooke's career prospered, they gathered their private art collection. First were "parlor pieces" for their home. She frequented the shop of furniture maker Yeun Kwock Fong Inn who often had ceramics and textile pieces sent from his brother in China.

The Cookes’ art collection outgrew their home and the homes of their children. In 1920, she and her daughter Alice (Mrs. Phillip Spalding), her daughter-in-law Dagmar (Mrs. Richard Cooke), and Catharine E. B. Cox (Mrs. Isaac Cox), an art and drama teacher, began to catalogue and research the collection with the intent to display the items in a museum. With little formal training, these women obtained a charter for the museum from the Territory of Hawaii in 1922, while continuing to catalogue the collection. Cooke wanted a museum that reflected Hawaiʻi's multi-cultural make-up. Not bound by the traditional western idea of art museums, she also wanted to showcase the island's climate in an open and airy environment, using courtyards which interconnect the galleries throughout the Academy.

The Cookes donated their Beretania Street land along with an endowment of $25,000. Their home was torn down to make way for the museum. New York architect Bertram Goodhue designed a classic Hawaiian-style building with simple off-white exteriors and tiled roofs. Goodhue died before the project was completed; it was finished by Hardie Phillip. This style has been imitated in many buildings throughout the state.

On April 8, 1927, the Honolulu Academy of Arts opened. There was a traditional Hawaiian blessing and the Royal Hawaiian Band, under the direction of Henri Berger, played at festivities. With the opening of the museum came gifts of many pieces, sometimes even entire collections. Additions to the original building include a library (1956), an education wing (1960), a gift shop (1965), a cafe (1969), a contemporary gallery, administrative offices and 292-seat theater (1977), and an art center for studio classes and expanded educational programming (1989). In 1999, the Academy created a children's interactive gallery, lecture hall, and offices.[5]

The original building was named Hawaiʻi's best building by the Hawaiʻi Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture and is registered as a National and State Historical site. The Academy is accredited by the American Association of Museums.

Post Lunch Discovery

In the gift shop I spotted a book entitled: Fire in the Sea: An Anthology of Poetry and Art, selected by Sue Cowing. I had never seen the book before. In the content page I immediately spotted a familiar PNG name: Kumalau Tawali, then Russell Soaba and Apisai Enos.

PNG writers appeared alongside Pacific writers such as Albert Wendt, Konai Helu Thaman, Hone Tuwhare, Kauraka Kauraka, Sudesh Mishra, Raymond Pillai, Eric Chock, Wayne Westlake, and Alistair Campbell, at least the ones that I know. All these Pacific writers appeared in the book together with some of the world’s favourite writers like Walt Whitman, Pablo Neruda, William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Yasmine Gooneratne, Judith Wright, Nicholas Hasluck, Fleur Adcock, E. E. Cummings, and Margaret Atwood.

In the preface to this book, published in 1996 as a Kolowalu Book by the University of Hawaii Press, in association with The Honolulu Academy of Arts, Sue Cowing writes: “This anthology includes, I believe for the first time, a significant sample of Pacific poetry in an international collection. The Pacific Islands have long poetic traditions, and the last two decades have seen a lively outpouring of contemporary poetry, especially in Fiji, Hawaii, and New Zealand, and Samoa, that deserves to be better known with and beyond the region.”

The title of the book: Fire in the Sea is a strong imagery of Hawaiian natural landscapes formed by its volcanic activities. Cowing writes: “Just as flowing lava turns the ocean to steam and keeps on burning—fire in the sea—the best poems we hear or read take surprising, even “impossible,’ turns that change the way we see the world afterward. Poets and visual artists try to say what we would have thought could not be expressed, and they succeed, we share their deep pleasure.”

The illustrations, in the book, are from the permanent collections of the Honolulu Academy of Arts and include a few pieces by young students of art at the academy, retained over the years for the lending collection at Linekona.

In the Pacific Islands Collections of the Honolulu Academy of Arts a whole array of material culture and arts of the Pacific were on display. These are material treasures of Oceania that were donated to the HAA. Traditional arts of the Pacific are well represented in the Academy collection. Fine examples from Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia include domestic containers, furnishings, mats, tools, weapons, featherwork, fishing equipment, and musical instruments.

The Sepik River region of Papua New Guinea is represented with ceremonial carvings, ancestral figures, headdresses, instruments, containers, masks, shields, canoe prows and paddles. Artifacts from the Federal States of Micronesia include a variety of masks, utilitarian objects and body ornaments. From French Polynesia are tools, headdresses, bowls, cups and containers.

The amazing thing for me was that most of the artifacts from Melanesia are from the Sepik area. There is the Iatmul slit gong drum, a ceremonial water drum from Chambri Lakes, a Malagan figure from New Ireland, an ancestor figure with skull from the Middle Sepik, a spirit board from the Gulf Province, a mask for yam ceremony from Nuku, a headdress for yam mask from Maprik and a Kavat mask from the Baining people of Gazelle Peninsula in the East New Britain Province. Seeing these on display in Hawaii made me wonder about what the visitors to this gallery would think about Papua New Guinea after they leave. What do they really think?

I know Soaba’s Storyboard is anxious to know the poem published in book Fire in the Sea. The poem as Storyboard knows is my favorite poem: “Looking thru Those Eye-holes”. If Storyboard does not mind, for the sake of those who have never read this masterpiece by Russell Soaba, I would like to have the honor of promoting it on this blog. It reads:

Looking thru Those Eye-holes

once an artist went overseas
his father died in his absence
& was buried in the village

he followed a rainbow upon his return
& came to a cemetry
he dug in search of reality
till he broke his father’s skull
to wear its fore-half as a mask

try it/loo through those eye-holes
see the old paintings/view the world
in the way the dead had done.

Believe me, since the first day I read this poem in the mid-1980s, I have never ceased to be amazed by the power of the poem in its appeal to me. Thank you, Russ for this poem.

Kumalau Tawali’s poem published in the same collection is also another powerful poem that has the magic it has always had on me since the first time I read it in the 1980s. Here it is:

The River Flows Back

In my mother’s womb
Peace was mine
But I said “maping
I greeted the light
And came into the world,
Saluting it with a cry.
I paddled downstream
Drifting at ease
Like Adam before the fall.

But now a storm rises before me
My canoe has swung around
I paddle against the stream.
The river my helper
Has become my enemy

I fight the river
Until my veins stand out
Until the paddle blisters my palms.

Yet in this battle I gain glory
Iwin fame
I grow name
The true essence of it.
One day I will reach the source again
There at my beginnings
Another peace
Will welcome me.

[Note: Maping in a term for greeting in a Manus language]

Soaba and Tawali are the first generation of PNG writers that I have unreserved admiration and respect for. Seeing their works being celebrated in an international anthology affirmed the poet in me to keep on writing. These two poems have influenced two of my early poems: “Lomo’ha, I am in Spirit’s Voice I Call” and “The Mother and Child” published in my first poetry collection.

My other favorite poet, Carl Sandburg, who describes poetry as (cited by Sue Cowing): “the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air.” Such animals live everywhere—on islands, on coasts, and, like Sandburg, in the middle of continents.”

Am I a sea animal? Is that why I love poetry? Try looking through the eyeholes of a sea animal what would you see?

Epeli Hau’ofa is right: It is the Ocean in Us that makes us who we are and what we are in the middle of Oceania—a body of water/life around our islands.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

DNA reveals new route of Pacific migration

Australian Geographic had this information on new evidence on peopling of the Pacific.
By:AAP with AG Staff
February-9-2011 Share

The final major wave of Pacific migration brought the Maoris to New Zealand 700 years ago (Photo: Getty Images).NEW DNA EVIDENCE has emerged which overturns theories on how humans spread across the Pacific.

The islands of Polynesia were first inhabited around 3,000 years ago, but where these people came from has long been a hot topic of debate amongst scientists. The most commonly accepted view, based on archaeological and linguistic evidence as well as genetic studies, is that Pacific islanders were the latter part of a migration south and eastwards from Taiwan which began around 4,000 years ago.

Now, scientists believe the DNA of current Polynesians can be traced back to migrants from the Asian mainland who had already settled in islands close to New Guinea 6,000 to 8,000 years ago. The evidence was uncovered by researchers at the University of Leeds in the UK, and published in the latest American Journal of Human Genetics.

"Our study of the [DNA] evidence shows the interactions between the islands of south-east Asia and the Pacific was far more complex than previous accounts tended to suggest and it paves the way for new theories of the spread of Austronesian languages," says lead author, Professor Martin Richards.

Genetic signatures

The type of DNA extracted and analysed in this kind of study is that in the cell's mitochondria. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is passed down the maternal line, providing a record of inheritance which goes back thousands of years. The scientists look for genetic signatures which enable them to classify the DNA into different lineages and then use a 'molecular clock' to date when these lineages moved into different parts of the world.

"Most previous studies looked at a small piece of mtDNA, but for this research we studied 157 complete mitochondrial genomes in addition to smaller samples from over 4,750 people from across south-east Asia and Polynesia," says Martin.

"We also reworked our dating techniques to significantly reduce the margin of error, he says. "This means we can be confident that the Polynesian population – at least on the female side – came from people who arrived in the Bismarck Archipelago of Papua New Guinea thousands of years before the supposed migration from Taiwan took place."

However, many linguists maintain that the Polynesian languages are part of the Austronesian language family which originates in Taiwan. Martin and co-researcher Pedro Soares argue, though, that the linguistic and cultural connections are due to smaller migratory movements from Taiwan that did not leave any substantial genetic impact on the pre-existing population.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chewing Buai and Poetry in PNG

On Wednesday this week I had the honor of reading poems and talking about chewing buai, writing, poetry and performance, and about Papua New Guinea and my observation of the world. It was the best poetry night I had in many years. I thank the East West Center Wednesday Evening Seminar organisers, the graduate students of East West Center, the Center for Pacific Islands Studies, the English Department, and the Pacific Collection  Hamilton Library, University of Hawaii at Manoa. Tenkiu tru na laikim yupela nating tru.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Out Now: The Unpainted Mask

The much awaited collection of short stories spanning more than 30 years of writing is now out. The collection untitled: The Unpainted Mask was copublished by UPNG Press and Manui Publishers. The book is printed and distributed in the USA by Masalai Press and online at various online book ordering services.

Product Description

Steven Edmund Winduo demonstrates his ability as a writer in this collection of short stories. The collection captures the changing social, cultural, and political landscapes of Papua New Guinea.The collection is a blend of published and unpublished short stories. The stories cover journeys people make from their unperturbed societies to ones in constant negotiation with change. These stories blend lived experience with imagined ones among Papua New Guineans.The book highlights the sometimes uncomfortable relationships and challenges emerging in different sociocultural encounters. One major theme runs through all stories in this collection: Mask. People wear different masks to view themselves and others. People have different opinions and views when viewing a mask from outside of a mask. People choose to wear a painted mask or an unpainted one. Steven Edmund Winduo is a senior lecturer in Literature and English Communication at the University of Papua New Guinea.

Product Details

• Media: Paperback Book, 284 pages
• Publisher: University of Papua New Guinea Press and Manui Publishers
• ISBN-10: 9980939826
• ISBN-13: 9789980939821
• Dimensions: 22.86 x 15.19 x 1.52 cm
• Shipping Weight: 0.38 kg

Orders can be made online using:
Orders in Papua New Guinea: visit UPNG Bookstore and purchase copy or visit http://www.pngbuai.com/

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

101 Goals for 2011

By the time you are reading this I am on my way to Honolulu via Honiara and Nadi. It is 2011, a brand new year with many unknown experiences to discover and many goals to achieve.

I actually missed the New Year celebration in Port Moresby because I went to sleep early because of power outage. By the time I woke up it was 2.30am in the morning.

Instead of complaining about missing the New Year fireworks I openned by personal journal and wrote the 101 goals that I want to accomplish this year. I do that every year so that I have definite things that I want to accomplish in one year.

The next thing I did on the second day of the New Year was that I wrote down some of the affirmations of the goals that I set for myself. These affirmations were written in such a way that I have already accomplished my goals.

The next thing I did on the 3rd of 2011 was that I deliberately set about visualizing my future. To help me stay focused on this process I consulted Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles:.

“Visualization—or the act of creating compelling and vivid pictures in your mind—may be the most underutilized success tool you possess because it greatly accelerates the achievement of any success in three powerful ways.

(1) Visualization activates the creative powers of your subconscious mind.

(2)Visualization focuses your brain by programming its reticular activating system (RAS) to notice available resources that were always there but were previously unnoticed.

(3)Visualization magnetizes and attracts to you the people, resources, and opportunities you need to achieve your goal.

According to my inspirational mentor, visualization simply makes the brain achieve more. And though none of us were ever taught this in school, sports, pyschologists and peak performance experts have been popularizing the power of visualization since the 1980s. Almost all Olympic and professional athletes now employ the power of visualization. When you visualize your goals as already complete each and every day, it creases a conflict in your subconscious mind between what you are visualizing and what you currently have. Your subconscious mind tries to resolve that conflict by turning your current reality into the new, more exciting vision.

Since it is a New Year I have set myself some new goals for this year to get to where I want to be. I am also closing some chapters of my life. One of the chapters, unfortunately, is the Steven’s Window, your favourite column. I have given much thought about this decision before today.

I have two important reasons for this. First reason has to do with the demands of the new job as the Arthur Lynn Andrews Chair in Pacific and Asian Studies, in the School of Pacific and Asian Studies, University of Hawaii that I am taking up this year. I expect the demands of the job to take up the best part of my time in the USA.

Second reason is that I will take the next 6 months to edit a book of all the articles appearing in Steven’s Window. I plan to have the book published some time this year. I will contribute to The Weekender from time to time, but for now I have to move onto meet the challenges I have set for myself.

You can follow me on my blog: www.stevenswindow.blogspot.com. If you are a follower on my older blog: www.manui-manui.blogspot.com I encourage you to sign on to the active blog shown here.

I take this opportunity to wish all the loyal followers of Steven’s Window, a happy, prosperous, and wealthy New Year. May the goals you have for 2011 bring you greater joy and happiness! I hope that you will grow rich and wealthy in mind, body, and visions that you have of yourself.

I urged you to keep in mind some of lessons I shared with you. New Year is like a strange country you walk into only to discover that it is not what you expect. Some culture shocks, sacrifices, and adjustments, such as saying NO to counter productive habbits, need to take place before you fit into the rhythm of life in it.

One final thought: If 2010 was a tough and painful year for you then consider picking up the broken pieces of your life and keep walking to where ever you are going. Others like you are doing exactly the same. Break free from the negative past and embrace the future. Replace whatever you have given up with positive thoughts, images, and the benefits to reinforce the program you have set in your mind.

I would like to say farewell aioni-bamahuta with the inspirations from my motivator Jack Canfield.

“Set aside time each and every day to visualize every one of your goals as already complete. This is one of the most vital things you can do to make your dreams come true. Some psychologists are claiming that one hour of visualization is worth 7 hours of physical effort. That’s a tall claim, but it makes an important point—visualization is one of the strongest tools in your success toolbox. Make sure you suse it.

“You don’t need to visualize your future achievements for a whole hour. Just 10 to 15 minutes is plenty. Azim Jamal, a prominent speaker in Canada, recommends what he calls “the Hour of Power”—20 minutes of visualization and meditation, 20 minutes of exercise, and 20 minutes of reading inspirational or informational books. Imagine what would happen to your life if you did this every day.

I leave this space in The National newspaper I thank my ever reliable editor, Magaret Daure, admirable Malum Nalu, the editorial team and the management of the newspaper company for giving me the opportunity to fulfill one of my goals last year.

I have found it enriching and humbling to share the thoughts and experiences I have as a Papua New Guinea writer, scholar, and teacher.