Monday, April 12, 2010

2010 Mount Hagen Cultural Festival - "Heading to the Show

This previously posted entry, "Heading to the Show", is brought up to top of this blog now in anticipation of the August 2010 Mount Hagen Show.

Space on Mount Hagen Cultural Show trips is always limited. If you act quickly, you just might may be able to book for August, 2010 Go to:

"Heading to the Show"

The organizing committee calls it The Mount Hagen Cultural Show. Tour operators call it the Highlands Show or the Cultural Festival. The highlanders call it The Sing Sing.

Beyond Papua New Guinea's major centres, few homes have electricity. Televisions, DVD players, computers, satellite receivers and cable service are rare. It's easy to understand why many Papua New Guineans consider the Mount Hagen Sing Sing to be the entertainment highlight of the year as well as a traditional cultural gathering.

Highlanders hike the trails from their villages to the road and catch a PMV to Mount Hagen for the show. PMVs are the not so rapid public transit of PNG. The vehicles used are customized trucks with benches bolted into the floor and a canvas awning lashed overhead.

Many of the highland roads are unpaved. Most are in poor repair. The PMVs are crowded. The journey may be bumpy and uncomfortable, but spirits are obviously high. Passengers join in chanting and singing as they travel towards Mount Hagen for show weekend.

Once in Mount Hagen, these out-of-towners stay in the homes of wantoks as they call fellow clanspeople and relatives. Days are spent at the Sing Sing. Evenings are spent with friends and family, telling stories and catching up on news.

While overseas visitors arrive by airplane and are accommodated in hotels, they share the anticipation of the show and the exciting experience of the Sing Sing with the Highlanders.

copyright (c) 2007 - 2011 Mary Jane Murray