‘Birana I Wala’ Book Launched

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One of the Editors' of 'Birana I Wala’ book, Taiwanese author, Pei-Yi Guo.

THE people of Wala in Langalanga, Malaita province, have successfully launched a book written by some of their own.

The authors of the book, titled ‘Birana I Wala’, are Ephrem Anifaegia, Joseph Buluibali, Patrick Torisala, Richard Walepomane, Michael Waletobata and Silas Waletofe. It was edited by Silas Waletofe and Pei-Yi Guo from Taiwan.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Manasseh Sogovare, said in the forward of the book, the co-editors would leave the reader in no shadow of doubt about the objectives of their work.

“They made it clear right from the very beginning: ‘To give readers a better appreciation and understanding of how Wala people live, their kastom, and to treasure the value of Wala traditional knowledge and heritage’.

“It is also their desire that the work will help to educate people about customs and traditional values as a way of preserving it in a fast changing environment which is marked by a visible clash of cultural values.”

The way the book was structured was also significant, he said. It is bilingual, in English and Wala languages.

This was a way of preserving the authenticity of the original ideas and thoughts, which could be easily watered down by poor translation.

MP for Auke-Langalanga, Hon Mathew Wale, said he was very pleased with the work done by the authors.

He also thanked the Republic of China, Taiwan, which funded the book’s publication.

“In Wala, there is no difference, I suppose, to other communities within the Solomon Islands since the adventurous missionaries and traders arrived. There is a disconnect in what is traditional and what is modern.

“Our education system, for example, is almost entirely purposed on training our young people to live within the 21st century and little emphasis is given to our cultures and I think we are suffering the consequences of that disconnect and neglect over the many years since we gained independence.

“So, this publication, I think, is one way to regain our lost ground and I hope my people in Wala will be using the book for bed time stories for kids and will also inspire other to also write stories like this.”

The book was launched as part of the Melanesian Arts and Cultural celebration in Honiara.