Papua New Guinea Celebrates 43 years as an Independent Nation

On the morning of September 16, 1975, the Australian Flag at the Hubert Murray Stadium in Port Moresby was lowered, and in its place was raised a proud flag of Red and Black with a Raggiana Bird of Paradise in flight silhouetted in the top right corner. This flag hoisting announced the introduction of Papua New Guinea as an independent state, and marked the day as one of the most important for its people.

his year, Papua New Guinea will celebrate the 43rd anniversary of the passing of the Papua New Guinea Independence Act 1975. On that afternoon, PNG’s first Governor-General, Sir John Guise reminded that “It is important [that] the people of Papua New Guinea, and the rest of the world, realise the spirit in which we are lowering the flag of our colonisers. We are lowering the flag, not tearing it down.” This was an allusion to PNG’s blood-less path to independence, and that this was a day of celebration and a call to move forward and mould the nation to the image of its people. The Act was passed by the Parliament of Australia. It replaced the Papua and New Guinea Act 1949, and changed the status of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea to that of an independent Papua New Guinea. The Act set 16 September 1975 as date of Papua New Guinea's independence and terminated all remaining sovereign and legislative powers of Australia over the country.

Celebrations:

As is tradition, the country will celebrate the occasion with a variety of activities including official speeches, cultural dances, singing, a lot of music, craft fairs, canoe races, and the selling of art and craft. The country’s national colors of black, red and gold will be conspicuous throughout. The National Capital District has planned activities to mark the celebration of the day and once the final details are on hand information will be disseminated.

The Goroka Show:

One of the most popular features of the Independence Day weekend, The ‘Goroka Show’ is a significant cultural event in the Highlands region of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and marks the end of a succession of festivities including the Enga and Mount Hagen Shows in August. It is also the longest running annual cultural festival in Papua New Guinea drawing a record 5000 tourists to the country in September 2017 during the nation's Independence Day celebrations.

The 2018 Goroka Show will be on the 14th to the 16th of September and staged in Goroka Town, Eastern Highlands Province. The naming rights for this year has gone to the National Gaming Control Board following a sponsorship deal worth K200,000. Other sponsors of Goroka show are, Unggai-Bena MP and Agriculture Minister Benny Allan with K100,000, Eastern Highlands Governor Peter Numu contributed K50,000, Tourism Promotion Authority contributed another K50,000, Coca-Cola gave K15,000, ANZ Bank Goroka K10,000, SP Brewery K10,000, Fresh Produce Development Agency contributed K10,000, while MVIL, Nestle PNG, Trukai Industries, Daewon and RD Tuna contributed K10,000 each, while other businesses and individuals contributed money ranging from

K10,000 and below. The large pool of sponsors is yet another indicator of the importance and popularity of the Goroka Show, and the exposure it provides.

More than 100 tribes participate in the event performing extraordinary displays of sports and 'singsings' - traditional songs, dances, and ritual performances.

The staging of the Goroka Show began in 1957 and was first introduced and organized by Australian patrol officers known locally as 'kiaps'. Kiaps from each district built round houses typical of their districts where they displayed the various and unique cultures of the people living there. The kiaps brought in 'singsing' groups from surrounding areas. It created an entertaining weekend for everyone in the Province helping people forget their tribal differences.

References:

  • Events | Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority | Goroka Show. (n.d.). Retrieved September 11, 2018, from http://www.papuanewguinea.travel/viewservices/News.aspx?Pop=1&rqEventID=65
  • Independence Day Celebrations. (2017, September 22). Retrieved September 11, 2018, from http://www.pagahillestate.com/independence-day-celebrations/
  • Independence Day fever takes hold in PNG. (2017, September 15). Retrieved September 11, 2018, from https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/339493/independence-day-fever-takes-hold-in-png
  • Kolo, P. (2018, August 09). NGCB comes to the aid of Goroka Show 2018. Retrieved September 11, 2018, from https://postcourier.com.pg/ngcb-comes-aid-goroka-show-2018/
  • Light the Candles for Independence Day in Papua New Guinea. (n.d.). Retrieved September 11, 2018, from http://aglobalworld.com/holidays-around-the-world/independence-day-papua-guinea/
  • PNG's Goroka Show attracts record crowd. (2017, September 21). Retrieved September 11, 2018, from https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/339939/png-s-goroka-show-attracts-record-crowd

Videos:

EMTV Online [17 September 2017). 2017 Goroka Show Attracts Many to Catch a Glimpse of the Show [ video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGghkVWoxz0

No Limit Adventures (22 February 2018). Goroka Show & Kalam Festival 2017 [video file]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3T2iFQUT4Q

No Limit Adventures (22 February 2018). Goroka Show & Kalam Festival 2017 [video file]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3T2iFQUT4Q