Adrian Keefe

Adrian Keefe

I have had the pleasure of wandering among the Enga during the Cultural Show since 1978. The generations come and go but that inimitable spirit of Enga shines as brightly these days as it did back then. It is heartening to know that Engan culture is valued, respected and loved as the knowledge is passed along.

Enga has an unmistakable sound to the singsing. It is different from that of Hagen or Goroka and very different from coastal sounds. To hear the Engan singsing is to know the past. It brings a lump to the throat. It waters the eyes. It brings us together like no other human characteristic. I see rhythm in the Engan culture, a living vibration that signals energy, symphony and an eternal ambience. Engans know what I’m talking about. You meet an Engans somewhere else on the earth and immediately he or she is your wantok.

There is spontaneous love. This does not happen with other cultures.

At least not in my experience. Only Enga engenders this form of abstract and real emotion and affection. And you can get it all at the Enga Cultural Show. Nowhere else!.

Graham Ellis

Graham Ellis

The danger of copying western style is that important aspects of local culture may be lost.Being a developing country does not and should not mean just copying things from developed countries.
The show had attracted many people to Enga, previously referred to as the “wild west” but now the “mild west” of PNG.
As developing country, PNG sometimes copy things from developed countries such as Australia. I do not want you to look at Western civilisation and think that ‘West is best’.

That is one reason why cultural shows are an important part of not just maintaining local culture but spreading the knowledge of the culture.
As we embrace things like mobile phones and the internet, it is important to keep the Enga culture alive.To understand the present, you need to have knowledge of the past.Only then, you can ask what should be carried forward and what should be left behind.

The cultural show was one of the ways  in which the people of Enga could guard and pass on.