The Askim of PNG culture

Posted by on Jun 30, 2018

Culture shock ya’ll.

Let’s Imagine you are working on you house. There you are, swinging your hammer, driving finishing nails into a some wood trim. Suddenly, a friend of yours walks over to shoot the breeze and see you. You acknowledge your friend and say hello. After a few minutes of talking, he asks you if he can have your hammer, not to borrow, he just wants it. How do you respond?

That is a common occurrence in PNG culture and it is called an, “askim.” I can remember countless requests from people, asking me to give them something. The requests are always random, a phone, 5 Kina, my hat, and other objects that I may have had in my hand at the time. So how would you respond and what are the questions that would mull through your mind? Those are the same questions and thoughts Lorie and I have found ourselves asking. Each case is different and most of the time, when you say no, the person says, “I was just trying to see if you would give it to me.”

I have found myself thinking about this cultural phenomenon in PNG recently. I think the reality of our return has prompted it. Regardless, it has been sweet to think on going back and navigating such things again. It has been a joy to experience a new culture and what better excuse to do so, then bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to those that need to hear it!


Past blog posts:

Photo: P. Mathur / Bioversity International: