EDITORIAL: Keeping Our Cultures Alive

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THE danger of losing our cultures and way of living is becoming significantly apparent today than it was 10 to 15 years ago.

This was largely due to the pressures and influences Western cultures have had on our way of life in the last decades.

Today, many young people cannot speak their local languages.

Today, many young people hardly go back to the villages or island their parents were raised.

Today, many young people did not know how to build a traditional thatched house.

These are indications of a nation and people rapidly losing their culture and identity.

Unless we start to seriously address this critical issue, we may completely lose our culture, which is our identity, in the next 10 years.

This is why we applaud the initiative north Malaita man Michael Kaura is taking to preserve his culture through the establishment of his Arts and Craft Shop both in Honiara and back in his village.

Kaura’s inspiring story is being featured in this issue.

At the Art Gallery Centre in Honiara, Kaura’s shop stands out from the rest.

That’s because of the unique and authentic artifacts he’s selling. They range from traditional Malaita war clubs to earrings made out of human teeth.

Furthermore, he’s moving into establishing a cultural centre where young people from north Malaita can learn about their culture and tradition.

Kaura explains that his intention is to preserve his culture so that the younger generation could learn and know about it.

But Kaura is just one person.

Preserving our culture for the future generation to learn should be a united effort – in fact, it should be a nationwide effort.

Establishing cultural centres is just part of the whole effort.

Schools and other institutes of learning should actively promote cultural activities, as well as organize regular events to teach the younger generation about the value and significance of understanding one’s culture.

The importance of understanding our culture cannot be further stated.

Our culture determines who we are.

It is our identity!

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