The weekend is drawing to a close here on the island and I just spent a few minutes reading the news headlines. It makes me sad. While our family visited a market, went for bike rides and attended a birthday party, on other parts of the island alcohol seemed to be the cause of many evils.
First off two brothers at 6 am Sunday morning after a night of drinking get in a dispute. The younger brother shoots and kills his older brother only to turn the gun on himself.
Then the body of a young man of just 22 is found dead. The preliminary results of cause of death? Alcohol poisoning.
Then there is an incident where a dispute broke out between two groups of people and shots were fired, no one killed but one person injured.
And last but not least the Tribe of Ouégoa where over the course of two days someone was shot, a house burned and the dispensaire ( almost like the ER) was vandalized. The root cause? You guessed it, alcohol.
A busy weekend on such a small island. Alcohol is a definite issue in New Caledonia. Drinking and driving happens much to often and causes way too many fatalities. The government has attempted to slow the consumption by limiting when you can purchase alcohol. The sale of alcohol closes at noon on Wednesday, Saturday and Sundays in the Southern province. Alcohol is also closed when festivals, and events are taking place in communities. Just this past weekend there was no sale of alcohol Friday until Sunday morning.
Does this help? I don’t know. It may force a break in between Friday night and Sunday but as you can see it seems that it continues to cause havoc on the island. I wonder what could change this dynamic of the culture? I just hope it won’t be something terrible.


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