PNG’s National Repentance Day: reflections of an absurdity

30 08 2011

A national day of repentance has to be one of the most ludicrous excuses for a public holiday ever thought up. It is an unnecessary waste of time and is yet another excuse for a country with a largely lazy urban population to become even lazier, directly hindering this nation’s productivity.

Whether Biblically speaking or even in a general context, the notion of repentance in a person comes from deep within. Even though influencing factors may be largely external, the conviction that drives a person to alter their lifestyle, change their habit or even to take on a completely new persona stems from deep within the recesses of their conscience through a change of their mindset.

True repentance is a deeply personal matter that will in no way be achieved through any means of coercion or compulsion, much less through the establishment of a public holiday. In fact having this public holiday is a clear case of that popular adage of taking a horse to the river but never getting it to drink.

There were no horses last weekend but I can assure you there were a lot more people consuming an insanely copious amount of that amber ale at every tucker box or trade store that happened to be selling it. This is a clear indication of the fact that having this day set aside as a public holiday in essence has robbed it of its significance.

If anything, Repentance Day screams of nothing but religious pomposity. It has all the hallmarks of the workings of what can be compared to that of the Pharisees. A vainglorious attempt by parliamentarians to make them feel good in the eyes of the largely Christian populace; perhaps to get the rest of the Papua New Guineans to share in the guilt of missing one too many parliamentary sittings.

What is befuddling to any sane person out there is that Papua New Guinea already has a National Prayer Day which can be put to the same purpose as this so-called Repentance Day without the need for a public holiday. Why can’t we work from there on?

In fact Papua New Guinea already has 4 days of Easter, a day in Christmas in remembrance of the birth of our Lord and of course, New Year’s day, a day widely associated with new resolutions. Throw in 51 Sundays and another 52 Saturdays (Sabbaths) and we arrive at the magic number of 109 days.

That is 109 holidays in any given calendar year for Papua New Guineans to repent and turn over a new leaf with enough to go around for seconds and thirds.  Much like the Parliament has 109 reasons to repent from playing marbles with people’s lives and to stop selling our country short.  Just as much as they need to repent from missing large chunks of parliamentary sittings and to actually stand up on the floor of parliament to carry out sound intellectual debates on pressing issues facing this sovereign nation.  To repent from unnecessary spending that would benefit only a few to actually putting money into where it is most needed so that our people from the urban to the most far-flung rural communities have access to basic services.

That is the type of repentance that Papua New Guinea is yearning for. Not another excuse for a holiday.




3 responses

31 08 2011



22 05 2012
Social Concerns Notes – August 2011 | Social Concerns

[…] PNG’s National Repentance Day: reflections of an absurdity  30.08. 2011 […]


27 08 2015

Repentence is a personal decision in the heart by weighing of certain things which one believe that is bad for them and strongly let it go.
The holy day is simply to honour the covenant our grand chief as signed 8 years ago publicly denouncing our ancestor’s gods ; lmage, sun, stone, pig, rivers and etc. I personally believe the day he signed deserve to be commemorated because he was head of state at the time and repent’s on behalf of the country not personal.That day 26th Agust will alway be remembered. Agd.


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