Monday, December 19, 2011

PNG BookClub Club-Our Achievements for 2011

 By Ian D. Hetri

First of all, Season Greetings to all Bookworms!
"You all are too good you are!" Remember Justine in PNG Gardner! His favorite lines.

Here we go. The idea of creating a group that promotes the culture of reading in PNG (read Wayne's article at started as a very tiny seed of thought. With every nourishment effort from the dedicated committee members headed by our very own Wayne Ganjiki and with technical assistance from Bea Amaya, the almost microscopic in size idea grew to what you can see today.

Today we boast a total of 3362  members in Facebook and we are still growing every single day. We also boast a friendly, professional and good code of conduct which we observed in PNG BookClub forums. Let's keep it this way.
Before I go on, let me share with you a saying by the famous boxer Mike Tyson I read some year back when I was in PNGUNRE. "The books you read and the people you hang out with determine the person you become". I personally observed this to be true. Enough Ian! This is isn't a history lecture. Lolz
Now let me take this liberty to declare that this year was a successful year for all our members and the dedicated, dynamic committee members. This group has opened doors to my world view. My professional networking and collaboration has improved dramatically. I have come to meet some of the best thinkers of this great nation PNG and I never seem to stop get better and better being in this dynamic community of book lovers.

2011 has come to an end. Great! Another new year! I'm pretty sure there are lessons to be learnt from this year. Good lessons and bad lessons. But one thing for sure is that we have started a drive that will align us to achieve the visions of PNG envisaged in PNG Vision 2050.

I commend all members for the active participation in the discussions, reviews, critiques and updates on the latest happenings in PNG. Our blog is up and running and is maintained by Wayne. Let's thank Bea again for the creative conscious she posses to again upgrade our website. Very prolific discussions are underway to do even bigger things for PNGBookClub in years to come. We will keep all members informed when the time is right.

The foresightedness and determination shown by each committee members is reflected by the good result we have seen this year. Again Wayne has done us proud by publishing our story in Post Courier. You are a mighty warrior Wayne.

After all that has been said, one thing we all should do is to thank those who actually wrote the books that we read and that is the reason why this group was formed. Thanks to the authors of all books we read.

To end, I kindly ask you to give a tap to yourself on your shoulder and tell yourself, "You love you". You were the one that made everything happened. So thank yourself. I will do the same.

Best regards,

Ian Dabasori Hetri

Monday, November 28, 2011


By Ian D. Hetri



A blessed companion is a book, - a book that, fitly chosen, is a lifelong friend,... a book that, at a touch, pours its heart into our own.
~Douglas Jerrold


Reading - the best state yet to keep absolute loneliness at bay.
~William Styron


A large, still book is a piece of quietness, succulent and nourishing in a noisy world, which I approach and imbibe with "a sort of greedy enjoyment," as Marcel Proust said of those rooms of his old home whose air was "saturated with the bouquet of silence." ~Holbrook Jackson


'Tis the good reader that makes the good book; in every book he finds passages which seem confidences or asides hidden from all else and unmistakenly meant for his ear; the profit of books is according to the sensibility of the reader; the profoundest thought or passion sleeps as in a mine, until it is discovered by an equal mind and heart.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Society and Solitude, 1870


We should read to give our souls a chance to luxuriate.
~Henry Miller


Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you.
~Harold Bloom


The book of the moment often has immense vogue, while the book of the age, which comes in its company from the press, lies unnoticed; but the great book has its revenge. It lives to see its contemporary pushed up shelf by shelf until it finds its final resting-place in the garret or the auction room.
~Hamilton Wright Mabie


The time to read is any time: no apparatus, no appointment of time and place, is necessary. It is the only art which can be practised at any hour of the day or night, whenever the time and inclination comes, that is your time for reading; in joy or sorrow, health or illness.
~Holbrook Jackson


I knew a gentleman who was so good a manager of his time that he would not even lose that small portion of it which the calls of nature obliged him to pass in the necessary-house; but gradually went through all the Latin poets in those moments.
~Lord Chesterfield


This nice and subtle happiness of reading, this joy not chilled by age, this polite and unpunished vice, this selfish, serene life-long intoxication.
~Logan Pearsall Smith


Books are delightful society. If you go into a room and find it full of books - even without taking them from the shelves they seem to speak to you, to bid you welcome. ~William Ewart Gladstone




By Ian D. Hetri


The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes


Books have to be read (worse luck it takes so long a time). It is the only way of discovering what they contain. A few savage tribes eat them, but reading is the only method of assimilation revealed to the West.
~E.M. Forster


Except a living man there is nothing more wonderful than a book! A message to us from the dead, - from human souls whom we never saw, who lived perhaps thousands of miles away; and yet these, on those little sheets of paper, speak to us, teach us, comfort us, open their hearts to us as brothers.
~Charles Kingsley


Let your bookcases and your shelves be your gardens and your pleasure-grounds. Pluck the fruit that grows therein, gather the roses, the spices, and the myrrh.
~Judah Ibn Tibbon


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.
~Francis Bacon


Books are a refuge, a sort of cloistral refuge, from the vulgarities of the actual world. ~Walter Pater


No person who can read is ever successful at cleaning out an attic.
~Ann Landers


That place that does contain
My books, the best companions, is to me
A glorious court, where hourly I converse
With the old sages and philosophers;
And sometimes, for variety, I confer
With kings and emperors, and weigh their counsels;
Calling their victories, if unjustly got,
Unto a strict account, and, in my fancy,
Deface their ill-placed statues.
~Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher


A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint.... What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.
~Henry David Thoreau


To read a book for the first time is to make an acquaintance with a new friend; to read it for a second time is to meet an old one.
~Chinese Saying


O for a Booke and a shdie nooke, eyther in-a-doore or out;
With the grene leaves whisp'ring overhede, or the Streete cryes all about.
Where I maie Reade all at my ease, both of the Newe and Olde;
For a jollie goode Booke whereon to looke is better to me than Golde.
~John Wilson


Never lend books, for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are books that other folks have lent me. ~Anatole France

A man may as well expect to grow stronger by always eating as wiser by always reading. ~Jeremy Collier


Books are immortal sons deifying their sires.


No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.
~Mary Wortley Montagu


I would never read a book if it were possible for me to talk half an hour with the man who wrote it.
~Woodrow Wilson


Books, not which afford us a cowering enjoyment, but in which each thought is of unusual daring; such as an idle man cannot read, and a timid one would not be entertained by, which even make us dangerous to existing institution - such call I good books.
~Henry David Thoreau


It often requires more courage to read some books than it does to fight a battle.
~Sutton Elbert Griggs


Many persons read and like fiction. It does not tax the intelligence and the intelligence of most of us can so ill afford taxation that we rightly welcome any reading matter which avoids this.
~Rose Macaulay


Americans like fat books and thin women.
~Russell Baker


What holy cities are to nomadic tribes - a symbol of race and a bond of union - great books are to the wandering souls of men: they are the Meccas of the mind.
~G.E. Woodberry


God be thanked for books! they are the voices of the distant and the dead, and make us heirs of the spiritual life of past ages.
~W.E. Channing


A good book is always on tap; it may be decanted and drunk a hundred times, and it is still there for further imbibement.
~Holbrook Jackson




By Ian D. Hetri



From my point of view, a book is a literary prescription put up for the benefit of someone who needs it.
~S.M. Crothers


He fed his spirit with the bread of books.
~Edwin Markham


Bread of flour is good; but there is bread, sweet as honey, if we would eat it, in a good book.
~John Ruskin


Most books, like their authors, are born to die; of only a few books can it be said that death hath no dominion over them; they live, and their influence lives forever.
~J. Swartz


A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counsellor, a multitude of counsellors.
~Henry Ward Beecher


Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes.
~John LeCarre


Never judge a book by its movie.
~J.W. Eagan


I love to lose myself in other men's minds.... Books think for me.
~Charles Lamb


Far more seemly were it for thee to have thy study full of books, than thy purse full of money.
~John Lyly


The wise man reads both books and life itself.
~Lin Yutang


I like intellectual reading. It's to my mind what fiber is to my body.
~Grey Livingston


I often derive a peculiar satisfaction in conversing with the ancient and modern dead, - who yet live and speak excellently in their works. My neighbors think me often alone, - and yet at such times I am in company with more than five hundred mutes - each of whom, at my pleasure, communicates his ideas to me by dumb signs - quite as intelligently as any person living can do by uttering of words.
~Laurence Sterne


You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be -
I had a mother who read to me.
~Strickland Gillilan (Thanks, Laurel)


He who lends a book is an idiot. He who returns the book is more of an idiot.
~Arabic Proverb


The mere brute pleasure of reading - the sort of pleasure a cow must have in grazing. ~Lord Chesterfield


An ordinary man can... surround himself with two thousand books... and thenceforward have at least one place in the world in which it is possible to be happy.
~Augustine Birrell


Books - the best antidote against the marsh-gas of boredom and vacuity.
~George Steiner


We are too civil to books. For a few golden sentences we will turn over and actually read a volume of four or five hundred pages.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson


From every book invisible threads reach out to other books; and as the mind comes to use and control those threads the whole panorama of the world's life, past and present, becomes constantly more varied and interesting, while at the same time the mind's own powers of reflection and judgment are exercised and strengthened.
~Helen E. Haines


To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.
~W. Somerset Maugham


How vast an estate it is that we came into as the intellectual heirs of all the watchers and searchers and thinkers and singers of the generations that are dead! What a heritage of stored wealth! What perishing poverty of mind we should be left in without it!
~J.N. Larned


Books are a uniquely portable magic.
~Stephen King


That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed with profit.
~Amos Bronson Alcott


The multitude of books is making us ignorant.


There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book; books are well written or badly written.
~Oscar Wilde, Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
~Richard Steele, Tatler, 1710




By Ian D. Hetri



When you reread a classic you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than was there before.
~Clifton Fadiman


For friends... do but look upon good Books: they are true friends, that will neither flatter nor dissemble.
~Francis Bacon


A book that is shut is but a block.
~Thomas Fuller


In books lies the soul of the whole Past Time: the articulate audible voice of the Past, when the body and material substance of it has altogether vanished like a dream. ~Thomas Carlyle

There are books so alive that you're always afraid that while you weren't reading, the book has gone and changed, has shifted like a river; while you went on living, it went on living too, and like a river moved on and moved away. No one has stepped twice into the same river. But did anyone ever step twice into the same book?
~Marina Tsvetaeva


The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression, and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is never cast out to be thrown on the rubbish heap of things that are outgrown and outlived.
~Howard Pyle


No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books. ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Medicine for the soul.
~Inscription over the door of the Library at Thebes


Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time.
~E.P. Whipple


These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. From each of them goes out its own voice... and just as the touch of a button on our set will fill the room with music, so by taking down one of these volumes and opening it, one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space, and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart.
~Gilbert Highet


"Tell me what you read and I'll tell you who you are" is true enough, but I'd know you better if you told me what you reread.
~François Mauriac


Books are embalmed minds.


Children don't read to find their identity, to free themselves from guilt, to quench the thirst for rebellion or to get rid of alienation. They have no use for psychology.... They still believe in God, the family, angels, devils, witches, goblins, logic, clarity, punctuation, and other such obsolete stuff.... When a book is boring, they yawn openly. They don't expect their writer to redeem humanity, but leave to adults such childish illusions.
~Isaac Bashevis Singer


I divide all readers into two classes; those who read to remember and those who read to forget.
~William Lyon Phelps


The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


There is a temperate zone in the mind, between luxurious indolence and exacting work; and it is to this region, just between laziness and labor, that summer reading belongs. ~Henry Ward Beecher


Nothing is worth reading that does not require an alert mind.
~Charles Dudley Warner


If you have never said "Excuse me" to a parking meter or bashed your shins on a fireplug, you are probably wasting too much valuable reading time.
~Sherri Chasin Calvo


The walls of books around him, dense with the past, formed a kind of insulation against the present world and its disasters.
~Ross MacDonald


The oldest books are still only just out to those who have not read them.
~Samuel Butler


I have friends whose society is delightful to me; they are persons of all countries and of all ages; distinguished in war, in council, and in letters; easy to live with, always at my command.
~Francesco Petrarch


Good as it is to inherit a library, it is better to collect one.
~Augustine Birrell, Obiter Dicta, "Book Buying"

To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.
~Edmund Burke


The art of reading is in great part that of acquiring a better understanding of life from one's encounter with it in a book.
~André Maurois


A house without books is like a room without windows.
~Heinrich Mann


By Ian D. Hetri


It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.
~Oscar Wilde


A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul.
~Franz Kafka


Lord! when you sell a man a book you don't sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night - there's all heaven and earth in a book, a real book.
~Christopher Morley


Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new after all. ~Abraham Lincoln


The smallest bookstore still contains more ideas of worth than have been presented in the entire history of television.
~Andrew Ross


I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage.
~Charles de Secondat, Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu, Pensées Diverses


To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations - such is a pleasure beyond compare.
~Kenko Yoshida


Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures.
~Jessamyn West


I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves.
~E.M. Forster, Two Cheers for Democracy, 1951


TV. If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they'll have with twenty-six. Open your child's imagination. Open a book.
~Author Unknown


People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.
~Logan Pearsall Smith, Trivia, 1917


Books had instant replay long before televised sports. ~Bern Williams

How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.
~Henry David Thoreau, Walden


To choose a good book, look in an inquisitor's prohibited list.
~John Aikin


In reading, a lonely quiet concert is given to our minds; all our mental faculties will be present in this symphonic exaltation.
~Stéphane Mallarmé


Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind. ~James Russell Lowell


Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled "This could change your life." ~Helen Exley


There is a wonder in reading Braille that the sighted will never know: to touch words and have them touch you back.
Jim Fiebig


This will never be a civilized country until we expend more money for books than we do for chewing gum.
~Elbert Hubbard


Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.
~Mark Twain


A book is to me like a hat or coat - a very uncomfortable thing until the newness has been worn off.
~Charles B. Fairbanks


If you resist reading what you disagree with, how will you ever acquire deeper insights into what you believe? The things most worth reading are precisely those that challenge our convictions.
~Author Unknown


Books are the glass of council to dress ourselves by.
~Bulstrode Whitlock

Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.
~Henry Ward Beecher


Reading means borrowing.
~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Aphorisms


Books are the compasses and telescopes and sextants and charts which other men have prepared to help us navigate the dangerous seas of human life.

~Jesse Lee Bennett


Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing. ~Harper Lee


The scholar only knows how dear these silent, yet eloquent, companions of pure thoughts and innocent hours become in the season of adversity. When all that is worldly turns to dross around us, these only retain their steady value.

~Washington Irving



(This collection of quotes was put together by Ian D. Hetri. To inspire more people to read more. Thanks again Ian!)
By Ian D. Hetri


Good book on your shelf is a friend that turns its back on you and remains a friend.
~Author Unknown


A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man's mind can get both provocation and privacy.
~Edward P. Morgan


The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.
~James Bryce


Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book. ~Author Unknown


A good book should leave you... slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it.
~William Styron, interview, Writers at Work, 1958


There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and a tired man who wants a book to read.
~G.K. Chesterton


Many people, other than the authors, contribute to the making of a book, from the first person who had the bright idea of alphabetic writing through the inventor of movable type to the lumberjacks who felled the trees that were pulped for its printing. It is not customary to acknowledge the trees themselves, though their commitment is total.
~Forsyth and Rada, Machine Learning


If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.
~Toni Morrison


A good book has no ending.
~R.D. Cumming


I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.
~Anna Quindlen, "Enough Bookshelves," New York Times, 7 August 1991


Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.
~Charles W. Eliot


Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
~P.J. O'Rourke


Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. ~Attributed to Groucho Marx

I find television to be very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book.
~Groucho Marx


The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.
~Mark Twain, attributed


A book reads the better which is our own, and has been so long known to us, that we know the topography of its blots, and dog's ears, and can trace the dirt in it to having read it at tea with buttered muffins.
~Charles Lamb, Last Essays of Elia, 1833


Let books be your dining table,
And you shall be full of delights
Let them be your mattress
And you shall sleep restful nights.
~Author Unknown


I know every book of mine by its smell, and I have but to put my nose between the pages to be reminded of all sorts of things.
~George Robert Gissing


A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.
~Chinese Proverb


There's nothing to match curling up with a good book when there's a repair job to be done around the house.
~Joe Ryan


Books let us into their souls and lay open to us the secrets of our own. ~William Hazlitt

My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter.
~Thomas Helm


A dirty book is rarely dusty.
~Author Unknown


As a rule reading fiction is as hard to me as trying to hit a target by hurling feathers at it. I need resistance to celebrate!
~William James


You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.
~Paul Sweeney

Friday, November 25, 2011

Short Story: Love Changes a Heart by Ian D Hetri

(This story was submitted by Ian D. Hetri for some feedback and critique from readers. Please send your feedback/critique to Ian on Thank you all)
Name of story:

Love Changes a Heart


Number of words:




Ian D. Hetri




This short fictitious story sets out to define the change in the old life style of Zia people in Waria valley to the contemporary western culture. Zia bauno, the female character in the story characterizes Zia tribe in Papua New Guinea. Her husband, Zia emo characterizes the old ways of life of Zia people. The once dynamic culture of Zia has simply faded away with the introduction of western life style. In the story, the Western influence or life style is characterized by the stranger from far away land that arrived on the shores of Waria river one day and fell in love with Zia bauno, made love to her and changed her heart forever. The author intrinsically uses emotions and passion associated with sexual encounter between the two complete strangers to paint a vivid picture of how powerfully and aggressively the western ideologies has influenced the once dynamic Zia way of life.




The rays of the sun glistened through the mist as it rose between the mountains, covering the landscape with a wet cloak. Squinting her eyes against the shimmering light, Zia Bauno stood along the shores of Waria River in awe of the morning's beauty. The morning dew showered everything on the ground, with sparkling brilliance that nourished her soul and reaffirm her belief in her ancestral spirits.


She let her thought wonder into the vast dawning Waria skies, cuddling her well rounded breast being chilled and made erect by early morning mist and cold from the river. The river flowed lazily down, sweeping off loosely rooted plants as it made its way

to the sea. Once in a while groups of noisy white cockatoos flew by with their squeaky noise, waking up the sleeping souls in the land.


It was in this very spot that he had met her true love, Zia Emo, felt in love with him and married him. Back home, was a typical warm cool morning with gentle breeze blowing through the roof tops made of thatched sago leaves and children running here and there to get fire from their neighbors whilst mothers sweeping around the house, disturbing the sleepy men and boys in the Ibu (men's common house).


The village was in a sleepy mood. The rooster crowing at the break of dawn with their fancy "cock-a-doodle-doo" calls, making patterned series of clucks to attract hens to the source of food or to receive their portion of early morning love making.


Zia bauno quietly crept out of her sleeping mat made from the wide flat base of wild palm, making sure not to disturb the kids. She made it to the river with the dirty clay pots, wooden utensils and water containers made of a local fruit of cucurbitaceae family call Umo. Her husband sleeps in the Ibu. At least that gave her some time to reflect on her life in the morning when it was quiet and peaceful and easily set her into a meditative mood.


Today was a special day. She never knew that things were about to change forever according to the prophetic words of the zia philosophers. She made a quick mental calculation of the time she had left to enjoy her private time along the riverside and usual morning chores that starts with washing up of dirty cooking utensils and then herself.


Suddenly, her thoughts were disturbed by a thundering sound along the Northern Coast line. She shivered as her thoughts drew the picture of a monster springing up from the river and swallowing her, leaving her beloved husband and kids behind. The imagination was so vivid that she started having goose bumps. She dropped the last pot she was washing and quickly rummaged in her bilum and found the last betel nut (zang) and chewed to warm her up before taking into the chilling river.

She quickly made few dives, fetched the drinking water containers and went ashore. From the next bend of the river before it disappeared into the lush jungle, she saw a very strange thing. Something she had never seen before in her whole life, being born as a child, becoming young women and now a wife and mother. She rubbed her wet eyes, shook her silky long hair and took a hard look again across snaky body of the lazy flowing river. "What could this be" she asked herself. "It's an animal because it's moving" she muted to herself. "But how on earth can it be so huge" she asked herself again.


Her thoughts raced like wild African elephants being chased by the raging bush fire. To run or to stay. She was caught in her own battling thoughts and never had time to escape. The big animal emerged into perfect view and slowly eased itself to a stop few meters in front of her and opened its big mouth. A man of heavenly features stepped out. Total silence covered the land of zia. Even the obstreperous squeaky cockatoos observed the silence. The shy mud crabs refused to scavenge around for the river debris. The old ones have prophesied for this day. The wise and old once said;


"It is written in the minds and hearts of our great ancestors that one day, a daughter from this village will marry a stranger from far away land, who will be far most powerful than our spears and clubs, posses great wealth and who will change our way of lives forever"


The ground was still moist and wet from the morning dew. The stranger came out with eyes wide open, and face of a lonely lion in a deserted island. The lines on his face told of the years he had spent in the open seas and rough weather. He was pale and strained from longer months in the open sea, yet possessed tremendous strength that could tear a wild boar's jaws apart with a single blow from is heavy muscled arms. His shaggy moustache and a smile made of steel told of his lonely afternoons when he went to bed with a bottle of whisky.


The idyllic scenario and the endowed quintessential natural beauty of the land instantly mesmerized his attention. Then he looked across the distance and saw Zia bauno standing motionless and almost half naked. Her glistering erect nipples send his testosterone levels running riot. Shy as she turned away to hide her face, he notice her thin hips and round, fat bums that wetted his insatiable sexual appetite and ignited his yearning to have her moaning and groaning under his bulky body and hairy chest.


She was a woman of her own caliber. Strong, respectful, hardworking and full of wisdom. She was a trustful lover to her husband and a giver of life to her family and her tribe. But she lost her faith and identity that day. The day she made love to the stranger in the very spot where she first met Zia emo and felt in love with him. The stranger was tall, muscular, and handsome and had the perfect touch and kisses every woman in the land would dream to have. His seductive eyes glared at her well rounded breast with perfectly oiled black nipples and see-through grass skirts (Ano).


When her eyes kissed his eyes, her heart started to beat like the thumping hoofs of a running wild horse. A burning desire flared from his eyes. She could feel him tugging her alone without even touching her. For a moment, she taught, she was hypnotized. Her vision became blurry. She wanted to run and die but she couldn't. She thought about her man, the mighty warrior and philosopher, the "Zia Emo". The man that keeps her safe from the enemies tribes. The man that feeds her ever hungry stomach. The man that keeps her cup of love full. The stranger swept her mind off her one tru love, the Zia Emo. With his seductive craws, he ripped her heart open and tore the flesh into pieces and drained her Zia blood. He breathed every words of romance into life and gave her a new definition of love.


He reached for her and pulled her close. She was reluctant at first. "I am a god from the far away land. I came to give you all you have ever dream to have in your life time" the stranger said as he planted another deep kiss on her lips, tickling her skins as he tenderly eased his succulent pinkish tongue down her neck to her nipples igniting an ineffable raging fire in her. He was far too strong for her resistance. With every kiss and touch, he broke down all her walls of resistance until it crumbled to pieces. She couldn't hold back her yeaning to feel his bulky body over her, rocking her liking a hurricane with euphoric explosion of intimate desires and ecstatic throw-ups.


He enticed her appetite with foreign tastes. She wanted more. So she walked away from the nutritious food that made her ancestors, grew huge, powerful, full of wisdom and lived longer years. She loved the easy-to cook food that made her lazy. Seeing her almost naked, the stranger captured her attention with western clothes that smelt superior and felt fantastic on her body. And she forgot all about the Ano that covered her shame and gave her Zia Bauno identity. With tongues twisting like a rattle snake and lips curving to and fro like the crescent moon, he kissed her so softly and tenderly and injected his venomous charms into her soul and made her forget Zia language. Her only identity that save her from death and torture from enemy tribes and the identity that makes her unique.


She forgot the man that loved her dearly and the children she bore from her own womb. She forgot the place where her mum gave birth to and blood spilt and sieved through all Zia land. The change developed like faraway massed clouds in the northern sky, and like raging storm from the southern coast, swept her off Zia land and distorted her perception from Zia way of life. Today she is a modern Zia Bauno, full of elegance that bear no resemblance to her real Zia identity. She is a fake Zia, made of woven western materials and ideologies. She speaks like a westerner yet doesn't know what she means. She wears expensive jewelry and thinks she owns the best jewelry shop in the land without knowing that these are also fake goods just like her.




She has changed her identity, left her true lover and now she is a lost soul in her own land.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Book Review By Patrick Kaiku: "Tales of the Tikongs", Epeli Hau'ofa

(Thanks to Patrick Kaiku for this book review. It's much appreciated. Ganjiki)
Hau'ofa, E. (1983) Tales of the Tikongs, Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press. 

Reviewed by Patrick Kaiku



For those of us who have been bombarded to absolute boredom with the textbook definitions of "development" and all the political rhetoric we have come to know about "development" in the Pacific Islands broadly, Tales of the Tikongs offers a slight variation for our amusement. The book, through a touch of hilarious and provocative penmanship presents a holistic understanding of development from the grassroots perspective with ordinary people contending with changes at the individual, household and community level.


The author, Epeli Hau'ofa would have understood the monotonous air of classroom curriculum and political imaginations that the term "development" conjures and its widespread use (or misuse) throughout the Pacific Islands. With the characters he developed in the fictitious Pacific Island country of Tiko, he sought to express the concept of development in the typical manner Pacific Islanders see it in their day-to-day lives. In the process, he sets out in this book, not with the intent of creating heroes or losers. Rather, all the protagonists are portrayed as free people and survivors in a brave new world where development is the phenomenon that "threatens to demolish ancestral ways and the human spirit" (p.vii).


To illustrate the resilient spirit of the Tikongs (citizens of Tiko), Epeli Hau'ofa in the story "Blessed are the Meek" introduce us to one Puku, a landless man and an unfortunate victim of the primogeniture norms of Tiko. Puku being short in stature and employed as a cleaner for a government department embodies the true survival temperament of the Tikongs. Although the elder brother unjustly wrong Puku by selling the only piece of land he subsists on and his only source of economic security in his increasingly monetized society, this does not sway Puku who remains "patient, long-suffering, and devoid of personal ambition" (p.74), knowing his obligations to the community, his social relations and Christian faith.


In the Tales of the Tikongs, Epeli Hau'ofa depicts the people's responses to the complex and multifaceted influences of the West. Epeli Hau'ofa creates richly humorous sequence of events to show how the protagonists, "[W[hen caught in a predicament, their solutions are idiosyncratic, often anarchic" (p. viii). The reader is led into the world of the Tikongs to "cheer them from the sidelines" (p. viii) in a plot so befitting their fatalistic course into the unknown.


For any Pacific Islander or persons who have come into contact with Pacific Island societies, one cannot help but relate the dramatic realities and typical scenes in Tales of the Tikongs to present-day Pacific Island societies. And to situate this story in Hau'ofa's life-long distaste for neo-colonialism, this imaginary nation-state of Tiko is given a status as a newly independent country somewhere in the great Pacific Ocean. For a book written by a passionate Pacific Islander, it is an excellent resource for high school and tertiary level students in the Pacific Islands. Educators should also make this a part of their collection and classroom resource material.


One cannot review this book without referring to the life of the author himself. In this brief summation, I do him great injustice by only referring to less than what he accomplished in his passionate endeavor in promoting Oceanic scholarship.


The late Epeli Hau'ofa is a prolific Pacific Island author and scholar, knowledgeable of the ebbs and flows of Pacific Islands' issues and a staunch critic of some of the elitist-proclaimed pan-Pacific ideals. He was a former Deputy Private Secretary to the late King of Tonga. Aside from his previous roles as Head of the School of Sociology at the University of the South Pacific, he was the founding Director of the Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture at the University of the South Pacific.


His educational achievements include earning a PhD degree from the Australian National University (ANU) in social anthropology. But this did not limit his interests and contributions to advancing the scholarship in Pacific visual arts and crafts, language and literature and politics and public administration in the region and beyond. One would have had the well-rounded learning and insightful mind of Epeli Hau'ofa to describe at length the most detailed activities that Tikongs carried out in their lives. It is truly amazing how he utilizes the inter-disciplinary scope of his learning in his holistic representation of the world of the Tikongs


As an educated Pacific Islander, Hua'ofa has legitimately meshed his conceptualization of the world with his own lived experiences in Tales of the Tikongs. He demonstrates his dislike of the growing class delineation and the hypocrisy of the privileged that espouse the preservation of Pacific culture and yet live lives that are far from "those they urge others to observe" (Hau'ofa, 2008:14).


Such contradictions are evident in the world of the Tikongs. Epeli Hau'ofa who has a long-standing ambivalence towards the ever-distinct Pacific Island bourgeoisie, who "have access to a wide range of superficial cultural experiences and expertise; it is the privileged who can afford to tell the poor to preserve their traditions…[but]…their perceptions of which traits of traditional culture to preserve are increasingly divergent from those of the poor" (Hau'ofa, 2008:14).


For instance in Tales of the Tikongs, the reader reads about Sailosi Atiu, the Director of the Bureau for Preservation of Traditional Culture and Essential Indigenous Personality. Sailosi strongly pushes for the people of Tikong to maintain their indigenous cultures but on the other end; he still maintains his membership in "the expatriate-dominated Tiko club", or annual subscription to Playboy and has his "regular visits to the International Nightlight Hotel to dine on grilled steaks and imported potato washed down with French wines" (p.50). It is almost sarcastic where in this fictional work Epeli Hau'ofa pinpoints the reality with the contemporary Pacific Island bourgeoisie.


The organization of the Tales of the Tikongs book is progressive, allowing the reader to grasp the diverse and competing influences in Tiko – tale by tale. For example, the first story draws the attention of the reader to two contrasting protagonists whose stations in life see them come into contact with the various agents of development and change. First there is Manu – the argumentative and inquisitive talker, who finds debating traditional and contemporary Tiko values and custom a task worthy of shedding every ounce of mental energy.


Secondly, there is Sioni Falesi – a traditional Polynesian chief, who is also a devout Christian and public official. Sioni, among other issues has to contend with the rigid expectations of the 'expert', Mr. Dolittle an advisor from Australia. Epeli Hau'ofa makes it a point to include foreign experts and development assistance personnel throughout the course of the book, overtly, giving the reader an insight into the lingering issues of neo-colonialism and the state of dependency that Tiko finds itself in.


In contrasting the forces at work in Tiko, Epeli Hau'ofa portrays the work ethic of the Tikongs in relation to the capitalist values of efficiency and discipline. In the dialogue, Mr. Dolittle implores His Excellency's Government to "first import the Protestant Ethic, two little words hitherto unheard of in the realm" (p.5). The Tiko are noted in this instant as demonstrating a relaxed attitude towards work and were less materialistic in their pursuits.


Tales of the Tikongs is a collection of 12 short stories. It offers a variety of plots and different characters or protagonists. The central protagonists in the 12 stories range from fishermen, to farmers, office workers, chiefs, pastors, academics and so forth. The book is inclusive of all there is to know about an island community. Occasionally, the philosophical Manu features in the chapters as the lead character. 


As briefly alluded above, one of the consistent themes that Epeli Hau'ofa highlights in the book is the role of the overseas development experts who make annual pilgrimages to Tiko for the purpose of helping out with a whole range of development projects – from fisheries, cattle-farming, poultry-farming projects and so forth.


Also consistent in Tales of the Tikongs is Epeli Hau'ofa's reference to Christianity and the blatant emergence of un-Christian values that individualism induces. It is the immediate second story, 'The Winding Road to Heaven' which portrays the Christian dogma that appropriate punishment is meted out to those who have willfully lived a deceitful existence. The reader is also introduced to a young man raised in the Christian faith until his interests in the opposite sex become the main motivating factor in his zealous Christian outreach work. Personal gain and the use of the introduced institutions in the pursuit of personal interests in Tiko cannot be more pronounced.


Likewise the educated elite of Tiko who has nothing to show for this multiple educational qualifications is given a good retort. There is also a tale of the scheming and corruptible His Holiness Bopeep Dr. Toki Tumu of the Church of the Golden Bell. Indeed, Epeli Hau'ofa mixes fun reading with critical self-examination of long-held assumptions that are part of the Oceanic milieu.


The orderliness of the book is obvious in the catchy chapter headings, conforming to standard fictional and creative writing. Anybody who picks up a copy of the Tales of the Tikongs will not part with it until the ninety-three pages are read through. The book is not lengthy and coupled with the comical content; the reader is guaranteed a hilarious encounter with the inhabitants of Tiko.


The book is also considerate of the diversity that is known of Pacific Island societies (and readership). Though the book purportedly cites social structures of the Polynesian cultural variety, the overall theme is universal for all Pacific Island societies. As one who is familiar with the so-called Melanesian sub-region of the Pacific Islands, I appreciate the universal themes that Epeli Hau'afo captures in the Tales of the Tikongs.


In fact I relate well with the hilarious occurrences and dialogues of the book. I would not be wrong if I say here that there is some level of homogeneity in the manner in which the processes of modernization is being confronted at all levels of  Pacific Island societies.


Tales of the Tikongs is a collection of stories that reflect the Pacific Islanders' life in this rapidly modernizing world. One can be sure that the concept of "development" is not a dull subject matter when read in the format presented by Epeli Hau'ofa. The book's vitality, originality and satirical dialogues demonstrate the sarcastic responses by the Tikongs to the forces of neo-colonialism. In this irreversible process, the author conveys the impression that the purported "underdogs" can deal with modernization at their own pace and in line with what is best to be taken from both worlds.


Additional reference


Hau'ofa, Epeli (2008) We are the Ocean: Selected Works, University of Hawaii Press: Honolulu.

Patrick Kaiku

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book Review: "REBECCA" by Daphne Du Maurier

(Grace Maribu recently read this book . Here is her review . Thanks Grace!)

By Daphne Du Maurier


"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." So begins 'Rebecca', the 1936 novel that helped popularise its author, Englishwoman Daphne du Maurier. For those like me who want to go back to works of the past from time to time, 'Rebecca' will not disappoint.


It is a mystery, with romance and some Goth thrown in. 'Rebecca' is about the beautiful, strong, intelligent, effervescent Rebecca - wife of the wealthy and powerful Englishman, Max de Winter.


In the story, Rebecca had died the previous year, and Mr de Winter – out of seeming heartbreak and great loneliness – marries a young naïve girl, not of his class, soon after he meets her in the French Riviera. He brings the young, new Mrs de Winter back with him to his family estate of Manderley….and so unwinds the mystery that had shrouded Manderley for many years. The new Mrs de Winter is narrating the story - many years later in retrospect – and, reading it, you feel the girl's many insecurities and endless struggles against the shadow of her dead predecessor seep through. Being the perfect wife, hostess and community member, the power Rebecca exerts over Manderley – even posthumously – is almost supernaturally strong. Mr de Winter withdraws into a sort of catatonic state; Mrs Danvers – the matron in charge of servants and affairs at Manderley – takes an instant dislike to the new Mrs de Winter and proceeds to make life as uncomfortable for her as possible. Then one night after a ball, a ship is wrecked just outside Manderley - bringing to the surface the many lies that lie buried beneath Manderley.


Daphne Du Maurier 'paints' the English countryside splendidly in 'Rebecca', and introduces and maintains characters that are common, as well as enigmatic and even bizarre. She does brilliantly well in keeping 'alive' Rebecca, and even though dead, we see a very strong-willed and powerful personality (and later toward the close of the novel, something else) in her leading lady, seen through the eyes of Rebecca's successor and those around her. Du Maurier's writing style of making almost everything dark and foreboding is grimly intoxicating, but it is the plot that is truly remarkable, and how du Maurier weaves every little strand to finally answer truths that you didn't even sense were awaiting that will amaze you.


'Rebecca', to me, is a story about relationships and a struggle for power each person within that structure vies for against the other to achieve and maintain. Rebecca de Winter reached that pinnacle of supremacy, and literally fought to death to keep it that way. However, it was the younger, the naïve Mrs de Winter many will feel drawn toward. I did, as I was once young and naïve – and coupled with my traditional Papua New Guinean upbringing of "not questioning but respecting authority no matter what" – once treaded the world with timidity and some sort of trepidation. The young Mrs de Winter's growth toward that awakening – the realisation that your essence and personal worth is never as a result of the social grouping you belong to – is in effect mine too. With me, I hope I had reached that understanding a long, long time before my reading of 'Rebecca'.


I will recommend this book to young women growing up and trying to find a footing in the world – against a domineering parent, a more apt sibling, a smarter classmate, a powerful husband. But I will especially recommend it to anyone wanting some good ol' mystery to knock off a weekend!


Out of 10 points, I give 'Rebecca', seven points. I enjoyed it greatly, and hope you can pick it up too…. Ms Homer.
Review by Grace Maribu of The BookClub.