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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Retention of Culture important for Pacific Youths to face the challenges of Globalisation

Educational, behavioral, health and social problems faced by Pacific Youth can be attributed to their disconnection from their culture, their family and their community.

New Zealand’s Associate Minister of Pacific Islands Affairs, Luamanuvao Winnie Laban in her keynote address to Pacific Parliamentarians and representatives in Apia said, "Our cultural values are not a burden, they are our strength. They are the strength of our elders and can be the strength of our young people.”

“As Pacific Islanders we bring a particular set of cultural values to our lives. As a Samoan, I know my community in turn is based on families and extended families.”

“Our Community is based on values such as love, respect, reciprocity and spirituality. I know that our brothers and sisters from other Pacific Island communities operate from a similar set of values. The words are different, but the values are the same,” she said.

She said the strength of Pacific Island cultures is their flexibility and the adaptability and this has allowed Pacific People to grow and change and to retain their values in a globalising world.

“My message to the Pacific Youth is be proud of what you are, treasure your Pacific values, stand tall, be strong, fear nothing and work hard to succeed in all you do.”

“And my message to Pacific Parliamentarians is treasure our Pacific Youth, listen to them, support them – for they are our future,” Laban said.

Source: Islands Business

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