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I was lead here by my husband who is on track with the current events in Palau and he's not even a Palauan. I prefer to steer clear but that's a whole 'nother issue. You are right. You cannot go against the members of the OEK or anyone in "higher" standing or one that is older than you. One of the problems that Palau faces that irritates me to the core is that local customs (mechesang) remain cemented but with the inclusion of western ideas, currency and government. Just a few facts as I see it and the basis: 1. No one can ever talk back or express their opposing views to the majority. Why: We are taught from an early age never to talk back. Simple as that. You do not oppose your elders or anyone higher ranking than you. This is where culture and western ideas clash. Palau still lives in a caste system and then you have this democratic government. In this mess, unless you are Reklai or Ibedul or some other high ranker, if your ideas go against the grain, you're pretty much screwed. 2. There is no democracy in Palau (in my humble opinion) . Just a veiled attempt at one. Why: See answer to #1. I mean really, how do you claim a democracy when the people have no say in anything? It's not fear over any single person, it's fear that the entire community will brand you the "barking dog". It's fear that the entire family of the "barking dog" will be targeted. If that family is low ranking in the totem poll... I feel for you. 3. The population is dwindling, by choice. Therefore, those few left behind will have the last say in what is to be done, good or bad and no one can stop it unless something drastic is done. Why: The baby boomers did their part but their children aren't producing and their children's children don't want to produce. You can barely live on minimum wage in Palau. Most of the current generation isn't too interested in staying behind. Many have joined the military or have gone abroad. From the looks of it, they're staying abroad. There's always opportunities to grow and find food and the last time I saw, you all have cable, phones, cell phones, cars, homes, electricity, a domestic helper, a bangladesh, clothes; the works. I wasn't top ace in Math but after calculating (the averages) all that I come up with a negative balance for someone on min. wage. Everyone wants to return and "give back to the community" but that ain't gonna happen. They will stay where ever they seed themselves with a better paying job, earn a living and send money back home to help those left behind to deal with the mounds of custom (mechesang). I'm not speaking for myself but for many other Palauan citizens when I say that the Palauan custom is a burden to so many. The first thought as a parent is to provide for your children but the first thought as a Palauan is how to provide for the entire family and is now becoming "How do I provide for my children when I must give to the custom?" Are you anything when you don't give? No, you are not and that is a very sad thing. It's sad when the members of your own community don't give a crap about your financial state and would rather you taste poverty than change their ideas. I may be acting a "barking dog" right now - ar chad a sorir el chemis er a belumiu. I hope I made sense and actually got my point across there. I'm sure that if they could escape, they would but no matter how far you run, they're still a phone call away from demanding their part in the mechesang. After all, you can't talk back and unfortunately no one likes a barking dog.
Toggle Commented Sep 24, 2009 on Ngerulmud Let Me Be Free at okedyulabeluu
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