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Papua New Guinea - The 600 islands and 700 languages country

Papua New Guinea, Oceania, Sunset in port Moresby

Papua New Guinea consists of more than 600 islands that make up the midst of a chain of islands that stretches from South-East Asia. For a country known to Europeans since the sixteenth century, modern development and relations with the outside are still something new to Papua New Guinea. Contact with the outside world is still minimalist in some places. Much of the interior regions, are still inaccessible by road, here can be reached by air or hiking on foot. But the phenomenon of isolation helped to preserve the traditions and lifestyle of the inhabitants. Local people speak over 700 different languages; this is very obvious, once you are in this country. Geography is very diverse, from high mountains to coral reefs and white sand beaches. The inhabitants of the country, is considered more recently, inhabitants of the Pacific, than of Asia.

As the development level is low, and quality services are limited - first necessity items are more expensive than usual. Before your adventure, remember that this country still faces political problems and the crime rate is high, security measures are required.

In New Guinea, there are some of the best places in the world for diving. Meeting place of three oceans arise a great diversity in marine reef. Waters are populated by the lower vertebrates and up to the biggest fish. There are organized boat dives and there is quality accommodation offering possibilities.

The main attractions

• Visit the capital Port Moresby, located in Port Fairfax. Here is the National Parliament, National Museum, Botanical Garden and the Catholic Cathedral, built in the style "tambaran Haus" (spirit house). Out of town you can see Kokoda Trail and Sogeri. Other nearby attractions is Wairiata National Park, Crocodile Farm Moitaka, Lolo Island Marine Park and Oceanarium.

• Stroll through beautiful botanical garden in Lae, Morobe province capital. Mount Lunaman the center was used by Germany and Japan as a watch in the Second World War, because views of Huon Gulf and Markham Valley.

• Take a tour of the island and up the river Sepik in Madang, Madang provincial capital. It has a variety of shops and markets where you can buy nice narrating the myths and legends. In Bilbils Yabobs nearby and you can watch potters at work.

• Visit Kanganaman, place to rebuild a tambaran haus (house spirit) of national importance and admire the carved masks, totems, canoes and priers mobile stairs of each local clan.

• Search for handicraft items in Eastern Highlands. Bena Bena village near Goroka is the largest weaving center in the region. Asaro was near the place where men covered with mud to reconstruct a historical revenge on the neighboring village, whose inhabitants fled eating earth covered with mud thinking that people are ghosts.

• Admire the beauty of paradise bird wildlife sanctuary Baiyer River, 55km north of Mount Hagen to. Possum, tree kangaroos, parrots and cassowary also live in this habitat.

• Visit some of the underground tunnel of 576km, dug by the Japanese on the island of New Britain and has been severely affected by volcanic activity in 1994.

Gastronomy

In restaurants use ingredients such as meat, fish, vegetables and fresh fruit (pineapple, pawpaw, mango, passion fruit and bananas). Cuisine based on local culture as taro, yams and roots kaukau, sagotier and pork. Sagotier is very important in low territory. From the middle of palm is a starch which is used in pancakes and dumplings. A sagotier pancakes, is similar to tortillas. At higher altitudes, is consumed mainly yams root - and the pork is consumed on special occasions. Mumu is a traditional sort that combines pork with potatoes, rice and greens. Number of restaurants of European, Chinese and Indonesian is in growth.

History

The first inhabitants of the island of New Guinea were Papuan, Melanesians, Negrito tribes speaking over 700 different languages. Eastern half of New Guinea was first explored by the Spanish and Portuguese in the sixteenth century. In 1828 the Dutch took formal western half of the island (now West Papua [Irian Jaya], Indonesia). In 1885 Germany formally annexed the north coast, just as Britain did in the south. In 1906 the UK and has transferred the rights to New Guinea to Australia independence and territorial name was changed in the territory of Papua. Australian troops invaded German New Guinea (called Kaiser-Wilhelmsland) in the First World War and gained control of the League of Nations mandated territory. New Guinea and part of Papua were invaded by Japan in 1942. After being released by the Australian in 1945, became a NATO trusteeship administered by Australia. Territories were united and called Territory of Papua and New Guinea. In 1975 Papua New Guinea achieved complete independence.

On the island of Bougainville has been a violent secessionist movement for nine years. In 1989, the Bougainville Revolutionary Army guerrillas closed Australian copper mine, a great source of income for the country. The rebels believed that Bougainville deserved a larger share of earnings. In 1990 guerrilla army of Bougainville declared independence and the government blocked the island until January 1991 when it was signed a peace treaty.

The 1998 earthquake triggered tsunami wave off the north coast of Papua New Guinea that killed at least 1,500 people and left behind thousands of injured and homeless people.

Useful information

Melanesians of rural and urban areas have very different ways to greet and say goodbye to. In parts of the high lands men face and belly rubbing each other. In most regions have been replaced traditional greetings with a western handshake method. It's very rude that during the greeting to look in the eyes of others. Handshake is made with eyes on the floor.

In many groups, marriages are made between people from different villages. Courtship rituals are special. For example, men Chikbu attract women with their vocal qualities. Men decorate their body in ways designed to be as attractive to women desired. Marriages are negotiated between the two families and usually include paying a lump to the father of the bride by the groom.

Capital: Port Moresby
Local time: GMT 10
Main languages spoken: English, Tok Pisin, Hirise Motu
Currency: 1 kina (PGK) = 100 toea