We shoved our small bags under the bench seat of the long back Land Cruiser, next to the first aid kit. The car jack and spanner were neatly tucked to the side and the ten-litre water containers were pressed against the back of the seat. The cooler box in the middle was filled with ice and a few soft drinks, and the small music player was sitting on the dashboard. The tank was full, the tyre pressure checked. The six of us piled into the car and waved goodbye to our friends; it was time to start our road trip from Port Moresby to Kerema.
Archive for category: papua new guinea
The pilot’s voice crackles over the headset, snapping me out of my entrancement: “You can just see the village in the clearing.” I’ve been mesmerised by the hundreds of kilometres of natural rainforest blurring together below, the steady drone of the helicopter’s swirling blades soothing me into calmness. Now my heart leaps into my throat. My eyes search the landscape and, just when it seems impossible, there appears a small settlement among the thousands of trees. Read more →
The great poet and writer Oscar Wilde once said, “I regard theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human.”
Throughout history and across all cultures, theatre, music, dance, writing and art have been central to the progression and development of societies. Art is about storytelling, about finding and sharing a common identity, a sense of meaning, and of making sense of the world. The arts help to create a dialogue that broadens understanding and builds bridges between differences.
This year, the Moresby Arts Theatre (MAT) in Papua New Guinea is celebrating its 100-year anniversary. Read more →
On 16 September 1975, the Papua New Guinean flag was raised on Independence Hill in Port Moresby to the sound of the new national anthem, signifying Papua New Guinea’s first moments as an independent state. For the 39 years which have followed, Papua New Guineans have remembered this day through a celebration of culture, traditional sing-sings and festivities that are unmatched around the world. Read more →
As we walk through the large, wooden gates of Constitution Park in Port Moresby, there is excitement all around. Artists are enthusiastically selling their wares from the traditional huts that line the walkways, a sing-sing group with bright colours and long feathers takes it place on the stage, and a traditional long haus looms over the hundreds of people walking by. This is the 5th Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival, hosted for the first time by Papua New Guinea. Read more →
Nori Vagi Brash speaks about her life as a Papua New Guinean poet, writer, and social activist
You probably haven’t heard of Nora Vagi Brash, and you might need a map to locate Papua New Guinea. But tucked away in this exotic island of the South Pacific, Nora is respected as one of the most outstanding playwrights and poets in the region, and the only female playwright published in the country. Read more →
The Kikori River is one of my favourite places in the world. At almost 230km long, it stretches over almost 23,300 km2 through the western part of Gulf Province in Papua New Guinea, forming a magnificent delta that reaches down to the Gulf of Papua. It is intensely remote, with dense mangrove forests lining the interweaving waterways, and small villages appearing in places that seem impossible. The river, and its people, inspire a certain awe, one that is unmatched in the places I have visited on my travels around the world. Living predominantly off of fish and sago, the people here live humble lives, their stilted wooden huts line the river banks and their dugout canoes paddle softly along the water. Their trials of poverty are as real as the crocodiles they fend off almost daily, and yet they have survived like this for countless generations. There is certainly magic in these waters, a calmness, a soothing, and it is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Despite the fact that PNG is an extraordinarily lush country, good quality local fruit and vegetables are hard to come by in Port Moresby. Most of us shop at supermarkets where a wide variety of beautiful, but expensive, imported vegetables can be found.
A more exciting shopping experience, however, can be found at Malaoro Market, a fresh fruit and vegetable market located at Gavamani Road. The aisles are a little rougher than those in the air-conditioned supermarkets, but the abundance of staple vegetables is just as good, the prices reasonable, and the colours and experience worth every minute. Produce ranges from lettuce, to carrots, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and corn, as well as an array of fruits including bananas, pineapples, and watermelon. There is also a seafood section, where fresh fish and crabs are in abundance. Read more →
On 30 November 2013, I stood in the middle of more than 2,000 people at the Sir John Guise Stadium, singing into a microphone, and could hardly believe it was real. People were pressed tightly together, waving at me, smiling, calling out ‘solwara meri!’ and filling me with a sense of belonging that has yet to be matched. I smiled in amazement at Robert Oeka, standing beside me, and together we started our next song, Kerema Yu No Save. This was a celebration of Gulf Day, and we performing in true Gulf style. Read more →
If ever there was a movie to be made about a museum that comes alive at night, the Papua New Guinea National Museum is it. Built in 1975, the museum is filled with artefacts from all over the country, and walking through the dark and chilly passages, the story of Papua New Guinea’s history is woven together. Read more →