A nation by any other name?

A nation by any other name?

Wamalopu
Wamalopu

August 2nd, 2010, 6:22 pm #1

My proposal is as simple as my article title is mangledly Shakespearean, it's time Papua New Guinea shed one of it's colonial underpinnings and changed it's official name to something that better represents the country and it's people.

The case for my proposal is even simpler, more than 50% of the country is not Papuan and exactly 0% is Guinean, new or otherwise.

Whether it was Siam (now Thailand), Burma (now Myanmar), the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) or even New Holland (now Australia), the name of a sovereign state has always been inherently a political indicator of that nation's view of itself and of it's place in the world.

Pity then the citizens of the small island of Dominica, who must vie on the international stage with their much larger and more well known Caribbean neighbour, the Dominican Republic, with whose nationals they are often mistakenly lumped.

I'll tell you this, it is far worse for Papua New Guineans abroad in either a recreational or professional capacity as they are met with a similarly vacant-eyed question of, "Papua New Guinea? That's somewhere in Africa isn't it?", or sometimes excruciatingly, the geographically-challenged individual does not even voice the question and assumes it is a given that he is speaking to either an African or perhaps a Caribbean. This are the kind of people who are cartographically semi-adept to the point of self-deluded knowledgeableness and probably even now still think that Suriname is 'somewhere in Asia'.

Sometimes this people are not even from a distant shore with excusable geopolitical ignorance but rather are only a 4 hour flight on Air Niugini away and would be nationals of a country classified as our "near neighbours".

Just imagine trying to market our Nation, it's people, culture or values internationally when confusion abounds due to a nomenclature that is a relic of colonial times and just as obsolete. That particular legacy of Senor Yñigo Ortiz de Retez's etymological mistake should have died and been buried in the pomp and ceremony when our flag was first hoisted in the Sir John Guise Stadium on that Tuesday morning in September, 35 years ago.

I realise that proving my case was the easy part, now comes the hard part; choosing a new name.

To change it officially to only its pidgin form, as in, Papua Niugini, would still have the vestige of the past and with it, its burden. In a similar vein I feel that retaining Papua, though historically appropriate would be unfair to the regions and provinces North of the former colonial border, conversely to take the geographically accurate name of Austronesia or even Australasia would be politically suicidal, scientifically stagnant and more importantly culturally irrelevant. However, in reaching a balance between culture, history and geography I feel the most pragmatic and inclusive way our country can be represented by a name is by Melanesia, or to give it's more formal title, The Independent state of Melanesia .

I am already nominally a Melanesian, in the same way a citizen of the USA is 'American', so the transition would both be easy and empowering. To further extend the American example: Fijians, Vanuatu and Solomon Islanders would be still 'Melanesian' in the same way that Canadians and Mexicans are also nominally Americans in that they share the same continent. As a name, Melanesia would sit more comfortably and logically between Malaysia & Indonesia on one side of the map and the islands of Micronesia and Polynesia on the other side than Papua New Guinea ever will.

However, I am open to suggestions and have made my proposal with the view to encourage discussion and perhaps eventually consensus, I strongly believe that as a country, choosing our name should be as important choosing our national flag. It is my conviction that our nation will once again unite in pride just as when Susan Huhume designed the flag that we chose to raise all those years ago when we eventually decide to change our name to either Melanesia or another equally judicious choice, as long as it us the people who choose that name.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

August 3rd, 2010, 1:28 pm #2

Well put! I like the idea, please lets change it........

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no way buddy
no way buddy

August 4th, 2010, 6:12 am #3

My proposal is as simple as my article title is mangledly Shakespearean, it's time Papua New Guinea shed one of it's colonial underpinnings and changed it's official name to something that better represents the country and it's people.

The case for my proposal is even simpler, more than 50% of the country is not Papuan and exactly 0% is Guinean, new or otherwise.

Whether it was Siam (now Thailand), Burma (now Myanmar), the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) or even New Holland (now Australia), the name of a sovereign state has always been inherently a political indicator of that nation's view of itself and of it's place in the world.

Pity then the citizens of the small island of Dominica, who must vie on the international stage with their much larger and more well known Caribbean neighbour, the Dominican Republic, with whose nationals they are often mistakenly lumped.

I'll tell you this, it is far worse for Papua New Guineans abroad in either a recreational or professional capacity as they are met with a similarly vacant-eyed question of, "Papua New Guinea? That's somewhere in Africa isn't it?", or sometimes excruciatingly, the geographically-challenged individual does not even voice the question and assumes it is a given that he is speaking to either an African or perhaps a Caribbean. This are the kind of people who are cartographically semi-adept to the point of self-deluded knowledgeableness and probably even now still think that Suriname is 'somewhere in Asia'.

Sometimes this people are not even from a distant shore with excusable geopolitical ignorance but rather are only a 4 hour flight on Air Niugini away and would be nationals of a country classified as our "near neighbours".

Just imagine trying to market our Nation, it's people, culture or values internationally when confusion abounds due to a nomenclature that is a relic of colonial times and just as obsolete. That particular legacy of Senor Yñigo Ortiz de Retez's etymological mistake should have died and been buried in the pomp and ceremony when our flag was first hoisted in the Sir John Guise Stadium on that Tuesday morning in September, 35 years ago.

I realise that proving my case was the easy part, now comes the hard part; choosing a new name.

To change it officially to only its pidgin form, as in, Papua Niugini, would still have the vestige of the past and with it, its burden. In a similar vein I feel that retaining Papua, though historically appropriate would be unfair to the regions and provinces North of the former colonial border, conversely to take the geographically accurate name of Austronesia or even Australasia would be politically suicidal, scientifically stagnant and more importantly culturally irrelevant. However, in reaching a balance between culture, history and geography I feel the most pragmatic and inclusive way our country can be represented by a name is by Melanesia, or to give it's more formal title, The Independent state of Melanesia .

I am already nominally a Melanesian, in the same way a citizen of the USA is 'American', so the transition would both be easy and empowering. To further extend the American example: Fijians, Vanuatu and Solomon Islanders would be still 'Melanesian' in the same way that Canadians and Mexicans are also nominally Americans in that they share the same continent. As a name, Melanesia would sit more comfortably and logically between Malaysia & Indonesia on one side of the map and the islands of Micronesia and Polynesia on the other side than Papua New Guinea ever will.

However, I am open to suggestions and have made my proposal with the view to encourage discussion and perhaps eventually consensus, I strongly believe that as a country, choosing our name should be as important choosing our national flag. It is my conviction that our nation will once again unite in pride just as when Susan Huhume designed the flag that we chose to raise all those years ago when we eventually decide to change our name to either Melanesia or another equally judicious choice, as long as it us the people who choose that name.
You're dreaming.

It will never happen.

The only thing our pollies will vote on successfully is to change the constitution to cheat the people further.

Apart from that, don't get your hopes up.
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Melanesian
Melanesian

August 4th, 2010, 3:39 pm #4

Well put! I like the idea, please lets change it........
Agree...agree...agreee....
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Nesian
Nesian

August 14th, 2010, 5:32 pm #5

My proposal is as simple as my article title is mangledly Shakespearean, it's time Papua New Guinea shed one of it's colonial underpinnings and changed it's official name to something that better represents the country and it's people.

The case for my proposal is even simpler, more than 50% of the country is not Papuan and exactly 0% is Guinean, new or otherwise.

Whether it was Siam (now Thailand), Burma (now Myanmar), the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) or even New Holland (now Australia), the name of a sovereign state has always been inherently a political indicator of that nation's view of itself and of it's place in the world.

Pity then the citizens of the small island of Dominica, who must vie on the international stage with their much larger and more well known Caribbean neighbour, the Dominican Republic, with whose nationals they are often mistakenly lumped.

I'll tell you this, it is far worse for Papua New Guineans abroad in either a recreational or professional capacity as they are met with a similarly vacant-eyed question of, "Papua New Guinea? That's somewhere in Africa isn't it?", or sometimes excruciatingly, the geographically-challenged individual does not even voice the question and assumes it is a given that he is speaking to either an African or perhaps a Caribbean. This are the kind of people who are cartographically semi-adept to the point of self-deluded knowledgeableness and probably even now still think that Suriname is 'somewhere in Asia'.

Sometimes this people are not even from a distant shore with excusable geopolitical ignorance but rather are only a 4 hour flight on Air Niugini away and would be nationals of a country classified as our "near neighbours".

Just imagine trying to market our Nation, it's people, culture or values internationally when confusion abounds due to a nomenclature that is a relic of colonial times and just as obsolete. That particular legacy of Senor Yñigo Ortiz de Retez's etymological mistake should have died and been buried in the pomp and ceremony when our flag was first hoisted in the Sir John Guise Stadium on that Tuesday morning in September, 35 years ago.

I realise that proving my case was the easy part, now comes the hard part; choosing a new name.

To change it officially to only its pidgin form, as in, Papua Niugini, would still have the vestige of the past and with it, its burden. In a similar vein I feel that retaining Papua, though historically appropriate would be unfair to the regions and provinces North of the former colonial border, conversely to take the geographically accurate name of Austronesia or even Australasia would be politically suicidal, scientifically stagnant and more importantly culturally irrelevant. However, in reaching a balance between culture, history and geography I feel the most pragmatic and inclusive way our country can be represented by a name is by Melanesia, or to give it's more formal title, The Independent state of Melanesia .

I am already nominally a Melanesian, in the same way a citizen of the USA is 'American', so the transition would both be easy and empowering. To further extend the American example: Fijians, Vanuatu and Solomon Islanders would be still 'Melanesian' in the same way that Canadians and Mexicans are also nominally Americans in that they share the same continent. As a name, Melanesia would sit more comfortably and logically between Malaysia & Indonesia on one side of the map and the islands of Micronesia and Polynesia on the other side than Papua New Guinea ever will.

However, I am open to suggestions and have made my proposal with the view to encourage discussion and perhaps eventually consensus, I strongly believe that as a country, choosing our name should be as important choosing our national flag. It is my conviction that our nation will once again unite in pride just as when Susan Huhume designed the flag that we chose to raise all those years ago when we eventually decide to change our name to either Melanesia or another equally judicious choice, as long as it us the people who choose that name.
It seems like a simple enough proposition, if clumsily put. The obvious thing to do is go to you local MP, ask them to put the idea out in Parliament that we need to have a national referendum on the idea and then eventually a selection process for the new name if the motion is carried.
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Vice President
Vice President

August 15th, 2010, 5:56 am #6

My proposal is as simple as my article title is mangledly Shakespearean, it's time Papua New Guinea shed one of it's colonial underpinnings and changed it's official name to something that better represents the country and it's people.

The case for my proposal is even simpler, more than 50% of the country is not Papuan and exactly 0% is Guinean, new or otherwise.

Whether it was Siam (now Thailand), Burma (now Myanmar), the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) or even New Holland (now Australia), the name of a sovereign state has always been inherently a political indicator of that nation's view of itself and of it's place in the world.

Pity then the citizens of the small island of Dominica, who must vie on the international stage with their much larger and more well known Caribbean neighbour, the Dominican Republic, with whose nationals they are often mistakenly lumped.

I'll tell you this, it is far worse for Papua New Guineans abroad in either a recreational or professional capacity as they are met with a similarly vacant-eyed question of, "Papua New Guinea? That's somewhere in Africa isn't it?", or sometimes excruciatingly, the geographically-challenged individual does not even voice the question and assumes it is a given that he is speaking to either an African or perhaps a Caribbean. This are the kind of people who are cartographically semi-adept to the point of self-deluded knowledgeableness and probably even now still think that Suriname is 'somewhere in Asia'.

Sometimes this people are not even from a distant shore with excusable geopolitical ignorance but rather are only a 4 hour flight on Air Niugini away and would be nationals of a country classified as our "near neighbours".

Just imagine trying to market our Nation, it's people, culture or values internationally when confusion abounds due to a nomenclature that is a relic of colonial times and just as obsolete. That particular legacy of Senor Yñigo Ortiz de Retez's etymological mistake should have died and been buried in the pomp and ceremony when our flag was first hoisted in the Sir John Guise Stadium on that Tuesday morning in September, 35 years ago.

I realise that proving my case was the easy part, now comes the hard part; choosing a new name.

To change it officially to only its pidgin form, as in, Papua Niugini, would still have the vestige of the past and with it, its burden. In a similar vein I feel that retaining Papua, though historically appropriate would be unfair to the regions and provinces North of the former colonial border, conversely to take the geographically accurate name of Austronesia or even Australasia would be politically suicidal, scientifically stagnant and more importantly culturally irrelevant. However, in reaching a balance between culture, history and geography I feel the most pragmatic and inclusive way our country can be represented by a name is by Melanesia, or to give it's more formal title, The Independent state of Melanesia .

I am already nominally a Melanesian, in the same way a citizen of the USA is 'American', so the transition would both be easy and empowering. To further extend the American example: Fijians, Vanuatu and Solomon Islanders would be still 'Melanesian' in the same way that Canadians and Mexicans are also nominally Americans in that they share the same continent. As a name, Melanesia would sit more comfortably and logically between Malaysia & Indonesia on one side of the map and the islands of Micronesia and Polynesia on the other side than Papua New Guinea ever will.

However, I am open to suggestions and have made my proposal with the view to encourage discussion and perhaps eventually consensus, I strongly believe that as a country, choosing our name should be as important choosing our national flag. It is my conviction that our nation will once again unite in pride just as when Susan Huhume designed the flag that we chose to raise all those years ago when we eventually decide to change our name to either Melanesia or another equally judicious choice, as long as it us the people who choose that name.
how about renaming ourselves the Undemocratic Republic of Somare?
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wrong time & wrong place
wrong time & wrong place

August 15th, 2010, 7:45 am #7

It seems like a simple enough proposition, if clumsily put. The obvious thing to do is go to you local MP, ask them to put the idea out in Parliament that we need to have a national referendum on the idea and then eventually a selection process for the new name if the motion is carried.
There are heaps of private members bills like what you're proposing. They get proposed and they get nowhere cos the PM has more important items on his agenda, like depriving the people of their basic rights.
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UDRS
UDRS

August 15th, 2010, 11:49 am #8

how about renaming ourselves the Undemocratic Republic of Somare?
Just drop the 'e' in Somare and replace it with an 'i'...damn, it would be a great fit!
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