My Speech during the Sixth Anniversary of ‘Mamer Awulian’ in Brisbane, Australia

Posted: December 28, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Amer Mayen, Columnists, Speeches

My Speech during the Event Marking the Sixth Anniversary of ‘Mamer Awulian’ in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

By Amer Mayen Dhieu, Brisbane, Australia

Amer Mayen

Amer Mayen Dhieu

December 28, 2015 (SSB) — It is of great honor and privilege to have the opportunity to be one of the key speakers at this very important occasion, which is a great milestone in keeping our tradition alive. This is the first time that unmarried woman or a girl like myself is being allowed to speak at this type of community event. Our people have a very bad perception that only an elderly married woman and a married man can say a word that will move the community forward. I think that is totally unfair to people like me.

To begin with, I would like to extend my appreciation to the newly initiated generation of Awulian Community—the Mamer. I would also like to pay my respect and tribute to the previous generations of Awulian community such as Makol Awulian whose values and commitment cemented the modern Awulian community and South Sudan as well.

I was born in the village of Nyuak Payam but left before I could learn anything about the place, its tradition and its people. And so are most members of Mamer Awulian commemorating with us tonight. That, itself, does not say I don’t have an appreciation of what this event is about or have no word of encouragement to share with the newly initiated generation.

Traditionally, generational initiation is practiced to keep members of generation in positions, to maintain respect in between and to divide roles and responsibilities among generation of a given community. This has been a practice ever since the creation of the Dinka culture.

But because of war and mass displacement of our people from their ancestral homes, this noble practice has been interrupted in most communities and is yet to resume. Awulian community is an exception and we are all grateful to them for keeping our customs alive, even here in the West.

In the past, roles and responsibilities of each generation, as well as their successes, have been determined by the socio-economic, political and environmental factors. As we commemorate this sixth anniversary of Mamer tonight, what will determine the success of this generation is different to that of the past generation of which Garang Mabior, Malok Aleng, Changai Atem Biar and many others were members.

These past generations were initiated at a time when the needs for our communities were to liberate the country, protect properties, wealth, the elderly, women and children. They joined in, fought and liberated the country and protected women and children from external and internal threat. Today, in the history of their generation their names are recorded for that purpose. That page is done, closed and sealed with excellent and most powerful biographies.

My challenge to you, Mamer Awulian, whose sixth year anniversary of initiation is being celebrated tonight, is this: What is your purpose? How will your groundbreaking achievements and proud successes be determined? You might have your own record of “to do lists” in your dairies, but I have two main issues to share with you: the issue of women and children. These issues are extremely important to any given society around the globe. We might have bigger issues than that—say the current political crisis in our motherland—but that has its own salaried people to deal with.

Tonight, the success of this generation will be determined by personal goals and achievement. That include the inspiration and strength your women and children will learn from your success. The issue of women empowerment is a significance agenda not only to South Sudanese but also in America and other highly educated western and Middle Eastern countries.

If such practices are practiced by community to facilitate generational development in a specialized areas such as culture, tradition and family values which are what define who we are then your work from today has to start by empowering women and children.

I often say it to myself that I must marry the greatest man alive and if I can’t marry him I will birth him and raise him. I am leaving you the same message tonight, you must marry the greatest women alive and if you can’t marry them, you must birth and raise them.

Raising the greatest daughters start with making them aware of the current issues and how to live and deal with them. Dealing and living with our culture is something we must all instill in this generation in order for next generation to carry on.

It is my humble wish that all those who have gone through this traditional process will be in a position to bring a change in their dealing with families, women and young children who are at risk and need of cultural support.

Vulnerable populations like children and women are entitled to professional care and support and my hope is that beyond this initiation, they will enjoy such care and support from Mamer Awulian.

Thank you for your listening.

  1. Joe says:

    Is it about the “bad perception” of your people that you wrote this heart-filled article or the fact that you are “unmarried woman?” Sounded like an ad to me :)! Good one though.


  2. Makur Garang says:

    “I often say it to myself that I must marry the greatest man alive and if I can’t marry him I will birth him and raise him. I am leaving you the same message tonight, you must marry the greatest women alive and if you can’t marry them, you must birth and raise them”. Propulsive and inspirational statement from an emerging greatest mother, Amer Mayen Dhieu. I hope that you will live up to your ideals.


  3. Simon Garang says:

    Great piece of inspirational message.
    Nonetheless, how will such messages of strong and successful generations works when families are breaking apart at an alarming rates as they do in Australia?
    Yes, its a closed neat and well integrated family that bear and raises meaningful and successful persons that makes a great generation.
    However, right there in Australia, if you the South Sudanese people and families continues to lives naively as they currently do, you will definitely risks falling prey to the traps and negative externalities of welfare societies that destroyed the Aboriginal families in Australia, the black families in America and currently had caught up with the South Sudanese migrant families in Australia.
    That government provided pyseudo-rights and meagre financial assistance are not substitutes to the roles of fathers and mothers in families. Government programs are not meant to overthrow roles of husbands breadwinners to their families and substitutes the position of a man in his house with the government.
    Although all families are at risks of those luring astray programs, white families knows better what they means, uses other resources to save themselves leaving migrants families mostly vulnerable.
    You people should start addressing gatherings on the causes of the break down of the South Sudanese families there and how to remedy the situation then beating bushes about less topics such as the above. Women had been empowered long time ago and each community knows how to protect their women and children.


  4. Decree says:

    Hi Ms Mayen

    How will / did single women’s (deliberately separated or divorced) children from Awulian be incorporated into generation as above?. There are many mono-parented children out there.however, this program would probably caused moral panics to these poor children

    Is this age-set for boys/ girls or mix?

    Good work to Awulian-wut. . I wish them success in Australia.


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