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PNG For Culture And Festivals

October 27, 2020 Destination Feature, Headline News No Comments

One of the most culturally-diverse countries in the world, and with over 800 languages spoken, Papua New Guinea’s rich culture should not be missed. Papua New Guineans are proud of their cultural traditions and festivals, and only too happy to share stories and experiences with visitors. But don’t expect staged performances and tourist traps; like the rest of the destination’s offerings, the cultural experience in Papua New Guinea is raw, real and authentic.

The country boasts a colourful calendar of festivals and cultural events that take place every year. Whether attending the famous Mount Hagen Cultural Show, or smaller festivals such as the Kutubu Kundu and Digaso Festival, tribes come from near and far to attend these festivals. These festivals are a way for sing-sing tribes to gather, and to show off to their neighbours. Who has the biggest headdress? The most intimidating performance? This colourful and cultural experience will leave your clients feeling in awe that all of this rich culture is right on Australia’s doorstep!

If your clients are not able to get to Papua New Guinea during festival season, nearly all hotels and resorts within the country offer day trip (and even overnight trip) options to immerse their guests into local cultural experiences. Tribes are genuinely excited to show visitors their everyday way of life, and introduce them to their culture. Instead of being one of many groups to visit the tribe that day, you will likely be the only visitor that they see the entire week or even month.

Mount Hagen and Goroka are the main tourism hubs within the remote highlands of Papua New Guinea. From here, a colourful world awaits, brimming with illusive tribes that still to today remain mostly hidden from the rest of the world. Both locations host festivals in September each year, the Gorka Show and the Mount Hagen Cultural Show. These events are some of the most visited shows by tourists each year. But visit Goroka year-round and you’ll discover a plethora of unique local tribes where traditional customs remain alive and well; like the haunting Asaro Mudmen famed for their spooky mud masks, and the Korekore Tribe who are best known for their Moko Moko (or ‘sex’ dance). Over in Mount Hagen, you’ll also discover the Diugl Village and the spooky Mindima Skeleton Dancers, as well as the nearby colourful Huli Wigmen.

Over in the islands regions, you can experience the the National Mask & Warwagira Festival in Rabaul which is an extravaganza of cultural dancing, ritual performance, story-telling and exchange. One of the most spectacular elements of the festival is watching the Baining people, who live in the mountains, and watch in amazement as men perform harrowing dances through blazing fires.

Whilst in Rabaul (and Kokopo), you can visit the underground tunnels that the Japanese dug out during WWII, and even visit Yamamoto’s bunker, to experience a whole different side of history and culture.

But this only scratches the surface of what Papua New Guinea has to offer as far as cultural experiences and events go! Often in travel we speak about “culture shock” when going to another country; well, this will be one of the most incredible culture shocks you will ever experience.

Check out Crooked Compass, PNG Holidays, Intrepid or Eclipse Travel for some wonderful cultural itineraries.

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