In the days leading up to Papua New Guinea’s Independence Day on 16 September 2016, the streets will be abuzz as residents show their pride and passion for the country.
If you’re new to the country around this time of the year, it can be an exciting experience as the country gets painted with the national colours of Red, Black and Gold.
Street sellers will start selling a wide range of merchandisers from shirts, caps, flags, bags and pretty much anything draped in red, black and gold.
Most of the sellers are the grassroots so don’t be afraid to purchase an item or two.
PNG’s unique art and craft will also be on display and available for purchase. From grass skirts, jewelry, hand made pots, drums and more, shopping for Papua New Guinea’s endless array of cultural items is an experience in itself. But don’t think that because most of these items are sold by the grassroots, they will be cheap. Times are tough and if you think buying groceries is getting expensive, these cultural items are following suite too.
Each school will be having their own independence celebrations and don’t be surprised to see kids all dressed up in their traditional costumes heading to school. The sight of these kids in cultural attire always brings a sense of pride as well as a reassurance that our culture has a future.
The more we get closer to the “big day” the louder the sound of the drums. To be more specific, the Kundu Drum or the Garamut.
Whenever there is a gathering, don’t be surprised to see sellers selling traditional food. Most of the traditional food will be covered in banana leaves and you can expect bananas, chicken, beef and locally home grown vegetables all stuffed inside and soaked with coconut cream. It’s a healthy choice too away from all the fried stuff you consume throughout the week.
There’s something about Papua New Guineans that always intrigues us. No matter how tough life is, PNG’s big day is a time to feel proud of who you are. Papua New Guineans are so good at showcasing how proud they are about their country.
Hope your child’s school or employer celebrates in style, the PNG way.