Not many Papua New Guineans watch English Rugby League. But Over 48 hours, our people have come to know one team in particular – the Widnes Vikings – all because of Kato Otto.
Ottio didn’t even play a game with them. Nor did he get the chance to wear the Vikings jersey.
They may be an English team, but what they displayed resonated with resonated with many Papua New Guineans. They honoured a fallen brother in the most profound way possible.
The Vikings, sent their message of condolence to the family. They honoured Ottio’s memory with silence. They carried the PNG flag on to the field during their match and they went further to give support to the family
Those are no small gestures. You have no idea how important that is to our many cultures.
To the Widness Vikings, in Papua New Guinea, we have a word we use for things like this.
It’s called “Pasin.”
It is difficult to explain it in one word. It is defined with many words that embodies the true Papua New Guinean spirit.
It means showing love and affection, honouring one’s commitment, kindness, generosity, steadfast loyalty, brotherhood, sisterhood, respect for self, your elders and for your family in life and in death.
It means accepting a stranger as your own brother. It means standing up for the downtrodden and supporting those who have suffered a loss. It means caring for widows and mothers who have lost their sons.
In Papua New Guinea, we celebrate life, we mourn the dead and we care for those left behind with their loss. you did all that.
You showed all that. You showed “Pasin” not only with words but with deeds.
Maybe tomorrow, next year, next season, you will forget the good that you did. Maybe the young ones who come after you will not remember. But your team name is now a part of PNG rugby league history and the people.