July 23, 2009

Remember the past for the future

23rd July is Remembrance Day in Papua New Guinea, when we remember the people who have devoted their lives for the country, especially during the World War 2 (even Papua New Guinea did not exited at that time).
We can still see the scars of War which ended 64 years ago through the wrecks and remains.
The Photo is the Japanese Bomber (NAKAJIMA 49i "Donryu") sitting down at Alexishafen outside Madang.
We are probably the last generation who knows the cruelness and helplessness of the War, and thus it is our responsibility to tell the future generation not to repeat it again.

July 10, 2009

Amazing Farmers

Highlands people of New Guinea Island are believed to be the first organized farmers in the world, starting drain-equipped gardens more than 9,000 years ago.
They did not, however, formed a country or did not develop modern technology on top of that advantage. Maybe they were happy as they were so they did not have to look for a better life...
Today, Highlanders of Papua New Guinea are known as amazing farmers, making gardens on the hill side of very steep mountains, some climb up to more than 3,000 meters.
The photo was taken from Daulo Pass, border of Eastern Highlands & Simbu Province on the Highlands Highway at altitude of almost 2,500 meters.
This is where people make Sweet Potato, Cabbage, Carrot, Tomato, Broccoli, and all kinds of vegetables you can imagine.
The fertile soil of Highlands and amazing gardening are supporting the livelihood of 6 million population of the country.

July 02, 2009

National Mask Festival on again

National Mask festival will be staged in Kokopo, East New Britain from 15th Jul 2009.
This is one of the most unique Festivals in Papua New Guinea with different mask culture of the country, especially in New Guinea Islands Region get together.

When I visited Sepik River earlier this year, Middle Sepik dancers from Palimbe village- "Mai Mask" - were planning to visit all the way to Kokopo to participate in the Festival. It will be interesting if Sepik & Tolai Mask collaborate and dance together.
One of the main attractions of the Festival, apart from stunning Fire Dance Performance by Baining Tribe is the Kinavai Ceremony by Tolais, main ethnic group of Rabaul/Kokopo.

When the sun rises, Group of cone-shaped spirit figure called "Tubuan" are emerging from the sea. This will be followed by series of sacred ceremonies; Tubuans sit down in line and are whipped by the tabu (shell money), and the ceremony goes on... The real meaning of the ceremonies can not be disclosed outside the secret society members.....
What makes me more interested is that East New Britain , with early contact with European settlers, is one of the most civilized provinces in the country, yet those highly educated people still believe in the secret society and keep the tradition.

If you miss this year's festival, please do not forget to book the fabulous festival in 2010.

July 01, 2009

Real "Paradise" for Nature

The word "Paradise" is often used to express Papua New Guinea, but I think sometimes the meaning of the "Paradise "is misinterpreted.
There is no well-maintained walking track to see "Bird of Paradise". There is no Aquarium to see the underwater world easily without hustle & bustle of carrying tank and odd equipment.

When I am walking in the jungle to see the rare species of birds, sweating and getting dirty, I sometimes question myself, is it a Paradise ??

However, as for the nature, much of the them are protected without being disturbed.
Coral Reefs are intact & healthy, much of the Rainforest remains and become breeding ground for many species of animals, plants & insects.
And when I finally encounter the rare spieces and find out that they enjoy the life without human disturbance, I also feel that, "Yes, this is the Real Paradise on Earth."

So the real meaning of "Paradise" in PNG should be something like that---- Papua New Guinea is one of the last Paradise on earth where human being and nature still live in harmony.