Once Violent Surinki Tribes Unite for Peaceful Mass in 2012
While much of Papua New Guinea may have celebrated the New Year with partying and alcohol, the people of Surinki, a place once notorious for violent tribal fights, brought in the first day of 2012 with peace and calm.
It began with the slaughter of 13 pigs, 8 goats and 30 chickens at midnight for the traditional moka feast to be held the next day after the mass.
As the 2012’s first dawn arrived, so did the mass goers as people from all the major clans of the Surinki area passed through the hotel’s gates to its open air auditorium.
They were an eclectic mix of Catholics, Lutherans, Seventh Day Adventists and other evangelist churches.
As well as from the local community, many other guests arrived from Wabag, Mt Hagen and as far as Port Moresby and Lae.
The message from the mass was for people to lift their standards in 2012 and to be good servants to God, their families, their communities and to themselves.
“ God says when you are alive, you must give yourself and your life as an offer to God. If you did not stay strong (in your faith) in 2011, then starting today in 2012, it is time to give yourself as a good offer to God,” one of the mass celebrants, Pastor Terry Kome of the Gut Nuis Lutheran Church said.
After the mass, other community leaders also spoke to the gathered crowd.
Hotel proprietor and local businessman Yasowe Kome, who is a born again Christian, told the crowd that it was through the power of God that has made it possible for him to build a hotel to facilitate a gathering of such magnitude and unity.
He urged his people not to be lazy but to maintain the peace in the community as Surinki develops.
Another community leader, Tomait Kapilli said Christians were important in PNG to provide guidance and direction to the National Government to make better decisions.
A representative of the BSP Bank in Wabag said he bank was proud to be part of the local community.
BSP had only recently installed an eftpos machine at the hotel, the first time ever a bank service like this has been offered at Surinki.
He said the bank is monitoring the progress of the Eftpos service and any more services introduced will be determined by BSP management.
The day concluded with a large Moka ceremony for all church goers and guests.
Surinki was once a notorious for violent conflicts that raged all across its plains, grasslands and jungles.
Many people perished in these fights as villages, schools, and business houses were burnt down.
During the last 10 years or so, there has been a change in the attitudes of the people. These days they use the Government systems and other means to resolve conflict.
This change in attitude has largely been due to influence of the Christian churches in the area. Testament to this is the fact that many warriors and tribal fight leaders have become born again Christians.
The activities of local community leaders and educated Surinki sons and daughters working in Port Moresby, Lae and all over the world to support education and development in Enga has also enhanced the area’s reputation.
“The mass has shown the people of Surinki are united together. They have a sense of respect for each other, love and unity. It is history for us to come together like this and everyone is predicting that something good will happen for Surinki,” Says local community leader Yasowe Kome.
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