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The Huli People and Their Culture: Interview

My interviewees were a family of three Huli men, all from different age groups. I picked the men from these age groups because I believed I would get a different perspective from each. Even though the culture has barely changed, the three were raised in different eras. My goal was to understand the Huli people, their culture, and whether or not globalization has had an impact on their thoughts. Two of my interviewees were brought up in identical situations. However, their ways of life and thoughts are now a bit different.

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The youngest of my interviewees was Diego, aged 21 (young adulthood). A tall, dark masculine cheerful young man, currently residing in (YOUR LOCATION) for studies. My second interviewee is Scott, a 50-year-old farmer (Diego’s father) who currently lives in Papua New Guinea. Lastly, I interviewed Jerry, a vibrant 76-year-old (Diego’s grandfather), currently living in the Hela Province of Papua New Guinea.

I met Diego in (LOCATION) through a mutual friend at a café. He agreed to be interviewed together with his father and grandfather. We did an over-the-phone interview with both Jerry and Scott. It was important to assess the cultural dimensions of my interviewees to manage the expectations (McGrath et al., 2018). Having Diego around helped mediate, translate and moderate the interview. We were together for seven hours and I used a recorder for the three interviewees.

Diego aims to become a worldwide renowned software developer. To him, technological advancement is the one thing preventing his country from developing, he hopes to use his acquired knowledge to impact his community. His advice for the other generations was simple. He said, “listen, we have an obligation to acquire all the knowledge we need, go back, and revolutionize our country.” Diego would like to see nations change how they view and treat their country’s people. For him, the most important values are integrity, kindness, and growth. He believes these are the key to achieving the greatest goal of life; to live a life of humanity augmented with technology.

Scott’s dream was to become a great farmer with at least three wives. His advice was, “We are worth more than our traditional parents have made us believe. Let us retain the constructive practices but do away with everything else that causes destruction, anger, fear, and poverty.” His main values are forgiveness, love, and kindness. He would love to see people change how badly they treat each other. For him, the main goal in life is to love and be loved by those closest to you.

Jerry is a traditionalist who wanted to be a great warrior, own thousands of pigs, and have up to six wives. He believes the younger generation is lost and advises them to get back to their traditions. When asked what he wanted to see a change in the world, Jerry said, “people don’t stand for what they believe in anymore. We thrived in our uniqueness, now everybody wants to be like everybody, it’s sad.” His most important values in life are courage, authenticity, and justice. When asked what he thinks is the main goal in life, he asked, “what would be greater than dying a true warrior, one who fought for his people?”

The three interviewees thought differently in terms of traditions and the main goals in life would be. Jerry held the most different views because he believed that his traditions were the way of life and that straying away from them would only cause more chaos. On the other hand, Diego and Scott believed it was important to eradicate most, if not all, of them. Diego and Scott have received more exposure to the world and gained more knowledge than Jerry (Armstrong, 2020). This explains why they resonate differently from him in most of the aspects discussed.

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Laura Carstensen’s theory of socioemotional selectivity helped me further understand the difference in responses between the three. People make sense of their lives through internalizing the values of their cultures. The internalized values are what grow into personal goals guiding development (Clark et al., 2019). Diego’s responses revolved around his career and the changes he would make in the long term. On the other hand, Jerry’s and Scott’s responses were more emotionally important. I understand this was because Diego thinks he has a lot of time, while Jerry and Scott focused on the current goals concerning emotional regulation in the short time left.

Similar to Carstensen’s theory, Erikson believed that personality development occurs with age. The last stage of Erikson’s theory, ego integrity vs. despair, states that people who feel their life is a success think about their life with a sense of closure and are not afraid of dying (Gilleard, 2020). It explains why Jerry discussed his death with completeness, certainty, and fear. For him, he had accomplished everything he hoped he would, and he had no regrets about how he lived his life.

The most challenging part of the interview was regulating Jerry’s emotions and how much they said. He was passionate about his culture and could not understand or speak English, therefore, we both needed translation. To ensure honesty, I asked scenario questions and dug deeper where I felt something was off.

This was a retraining experience where I learned that values and beliefs are determined by the exposure a person gets, which also depends on the time lived. The three interviewees are related and grew in almost similar situations but had different thoughts and goals in life. Now I understand that I should not expect my thirteen-year-old boy to have the same beliefs as my 50-year-old father. What I believe in now may not be what I believe in the next 30 years and also may not be what my child believes in.


Armstrong, K. (2020). How Age Magnifies Experience: Deconstructing Cross-Cultural Differences in Aging. Association for Psychological Science – APS. Web.

Clark, M., Sanders, K., Haynes, N., & Griek, O. (2019). Lifespan Perspectives on Work and Nonwork Roles. Work Across The Lifespan, 395-416. Web.

Gilleard, C. (2020). The final stage of human development? Erikson’s view of integrity and old age. International Journal Of Ageing And Later Life, 1-24. Web.

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McGrath, C., Palmgren, P., & Liljedahl, M. (2018). Twelve tips for conducting qualitative research interviews. Medical Teacher, 41(9), 1002-1006. Web.

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