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Culture shift call

Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari
Friday, October 02, 2015

THE People's Community Network wants to empower people to end the culture of silence, which they believe is stopping people from undertaking initiatives for their own good.

Speaking at the Pacific Dialogue on Tuesday night at the University of the South Pacific, PCN National Director Father Kevin Barr said many times people looked at a situation and because they were brought up in a culture of silence, they tended to accept the situation and not do a thing about it.

"This has a lot of implications on social justice and what's happening in the world and Fiji. What do we see when we open our newspaper every day? Does everything we see make us happy? What do we see that makes us upset? So what do we do about it? Action is needed," he said.

Fr Barr said obedience was being taken to the extreme that it evolved into a culture of silence, where no one spoke out or did things to bring about change.

"This is where people sit back when they see a situation and accept it, accept the authority and accept whatever he says and we obey the boss. It's taking obedience to an extreme and not taking an initiative to do something," he said.

Fr Barr said this was one of the problems they found in their work in squatter settlements where people would wait for others to do things for them instead of taking the initiative to help themselves.

"We're waiting for somebody to tell us what to do.

"That's why in our work, we see in squatter settlements, a lot of things won't happen because people are brought up in the culture of silence."

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