Friday, 17 March 2017


One of the few things being in the bilum bags of the few elder people who come to visit our place of work on some random days to peddle various home-grown vegetables is okra. Surprisingly, when I asked for okra's local name from the two of our staffs on separate occasions, none of them knew because neither of whom had tried it yet, which seemed odd to me because there was always an okra on the market stalls anywhere here.

The street sellers who come over here to sell call this the lady finger. Wikipedia, on the other hand says that most English-speaking countries call it the ladies' finger. One can probably surmise that naming it after a lady's phalanges is unquestionably deliberate because of its shape.

But an okra can also grow longer than 4 inches, and with such length, one cannot help but think of a movie character with which we can imagine of having such a humongous finger. My imagination has led me to think of Neytiri of the Na’vis from the movie, Avatar.

The okras in the picture are what I bought today from a persistent but polite street seller. They only cost K1.00 a bundle and by some Papua New Guinean standards, 1 kina is neither expensive or cheap, but is rather affordable. I bought five bundles, not because it was my favorite number, but because a K5 note was the only money left in my wallet.

While I’m not an expert on nutrition, I can cite out some of its benefits that I've read from Wikipedia. But why Wikipedia, you say? Because that website is pretty cool! 

Just kidding! 

It's probably tempting to discuss about the advantages of trusting Wikipedia but i'll make my reason simple for now. Contrary to other informative websites of the same category, Wiki has many anonymous contributors  and the articles are always updated to the current events. These contributors mainly consist of professional editors and amateur writers and they write collaboratively  within the boundaries of Wikipedia's Five Pillars by which it operates.

Not sure if I'm clear enough.

Anyway,  let's go back to our topic. According to "them," okra is rich in essential things that our body needs to keep it in good health, having 20% more of the daily value in dietary fibre, vitamin C and vitamin K.

Another source on the internet also talks about okra’s wonderful benefits, saying it is good for preventing and improving constipation, lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk for developing some forms of cancer like the colorectal cancer and improving energy levels due to its high carbohydrates and vitamin contents.

One must also learn to keep in mind that okra is a functional food. That is, it's a disease-preventing food. In Papua New Guinea, when we buy an okra from street sellers, we are not only supporting the local communities but we are also packing in some good stuffs to our own health once we eat it. 


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