The first Miss South Pacific Pageant that was held in PNG last year was full of mixed reactions. I also gave my opinion on the event. But the fact that we had such strong reactions to the pageant meant to me that on some level it was important to us in PNG.
Another way to look at it was that, PNG was now hosting a Pacific wide event which in many ways forced us to look at who we really were in the Pacific. So for various things to go wrong, many people were quick to point the finger, (including myself).
A year has since passed and the core of what I thought the event was about has stuck with me. This I thought was a great exercise in creating cultural ambassadors for our countries in the Pacific as a way of celebrating who we are and our histories and in turn recognizing the common destinies that we have with our South Pacific Island neighbors.
So I’m happy to announce that preparations have now begun for Miss South Pacific Pageant 2011 and at yesterday’s launch Dame Carol Kidu was present to highlight the importance of providing platforms from which young women could launch their dreams.
Deputy Chair Kathy Johnston also had this to add in her speech.
“MSPP PNG is a non-profit organisation…The winner of this pageant will go on to represent PNG in the MSPP when it is held in Samoa later this year…this is an opportunity or us to share our culture with other countries in the region. Papua New Guinea culture us difficult to define, diverse cultures have come together as one in our country. One thing that is universal in our country is pasin.
Gutpla pasin, em traipla samting!
…Trying to explain this term to a Westerner is near impossible, there is no one word in English that encapsulates the essence of this term. How do you explain an all encompassing traditional system of behaviour and responsibilities that spell out each person’s relationship to one another…Good etiquette simply is not a good enough description.
Women in PNG are valued for this quality. It also seems to be the very quality that women in the region are also valued for. Cultural awareness, pasin and an ability to share eloquently and elegantly these qualities with any and all, are important attributes of any Miss South Pacific as the regions cultural ambassador. This is what we are looking for in the inaugural Miss South Pacific Pageant PNG.”
More details about the pageant will be forthcoming over the next couple of days.
Also since I had criticized last years event so much I also thought that it was perhaps ‘Gutpla Pasin’ that Masalai Communications become the Silver Sponsor for the MSPP with an in kind sponsorship of K25,000. I announced this at the launch yesterday. This will encompass website development, social media management and SMS voting.