Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year in Papua New Guinea - Hamamas Niu Yia Olgeta!

Here's a New Year's Eve entry reposted from 2010.

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.....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas: Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas go long yu!

Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas go long yu!

That's "Merry Christmas" in Tok Pisin, the common language spoken amongst Papua New Guinean language groups.

It's a busy time of year but here are a few quick notes about the holiday season in Papua New Guinea.

Stores in Papua New Guinea's towns use many more meters of glittery tinsel garlands per square foot of sales space than stores in North America.

Imported grapes and apples are a Christmastime treat.

Birth records do not exist in much of Papua New Guinea. Christmas is often used to keep track of approximate ages. It is common to ask someone's age with this question, "Hamas krismas bilong yu?". It translates as: "How many Christmases do you have?".

Posted by Mary Jane Murray at 9:47 PM

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