Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve in Papua New Guinea

It's hot, dark and still along the Sepik and Karawari River banks. Then the first beats are heard in the distance. Garamut drums are carrying the message from village to village: "Hamamas Niu Yia Olgeta!" Happy New Year to All!

In Papua New Guinea's towns, truck drivers pull over at trade stores to buy a Coke or a beer. At midnight they reach into their vehicles to honk their horns. Cheers can be heard from nearby houses where families and friends have gathered: "Hamamas Niu Yia Olgeta!"

Tomorrow may be a good day for a mumu.....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Four Notes About Christmas and Papua New Guinea

1. Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas go long yu!
That's "Merry Christmas" in Melanesian Pidgin, the common language spoken amongst Papua New Guinean language groups.

2. There are few birth records in Papua New Guinea. It is common to ask someone's age with thie questoin, "Hamas krismas bilong yu?". It translates as: How many Christmases do you have?

3. An observation: urban stores in Papua New Guinea use much more glittery tinsel garlands per square foot of sales space than stores in North America.

4. Imported grapes and apples are a Christmastime treat.

Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas go long yu!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Below is a link to my recent piece on "voluntouring" with the Sierra Club.

While this information doesn't directly relate to Papua New Guinea, it may be of interest to some readers of this blog.

The adventurous spirit of the PNG traveler seems a quality shared by participants in the Sierra Club's Service Trips.

copyright (c) 2007 - 2011 Mary Jane Murray