Thursday, 5 June 2008 6:17 AM

Watching But Not Listening

Drawing a huge crowd in Honiara takes just one loud sound of music.

During awareness programmes staged in public, the crowd would pack in the area and stay right throughout.

"But half the time, the crowd's just wanting to watch what is going on without really taking in the issue at hand," an onlooker at an awareness talk at the Honiara Central Market told Solomon Times.

Fran Joe of the Western Province said that when the show closes down, "try asking them what that was all about and you are most likely to just receive a shrug of the shoulder".

For most in the crowd, it is just the amusement of watching what is happening "but whether or not they take in what is actually being conveyed is another matter".

Mr. Joe said that people would be more interested in the entertainment side of it all instead of focusing on the emphasis of the awareness programme.

Agreeing on the view, Junior Kalita of Malaita Province said that most in the crowd would be more interested in the music or any form of entertainment taking place.

"As soon as that is over, the crowd would disappear and wait for the next public show to be staged," Mr. Kalita said.

He said that just observing, one would think that the crowd is really into the awareness issues.

"But mingle in the crowd and you hear that talks will be mostly on the entertainment part of the whole programme," Mr. Kalita said.

This calls for organizers staging awareness programmes in public to look at other methods that would really sink in their messages to the gathering crowds.