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The country that forgets the time

has A handful of arrows Gabriel Win on the back, he marches through the jungle and searches for birds. Birds of Paradise. Gabriel is chasing these colorful animals with the long feathers. Gun and bullets? Gabriel makes a dismissive hand motion – not, he is banned. High up on the trees, the sweet fruits, you should stop.

for Hours, Gabriel is waiting, he sees a bird of Paradise, a red, takes an arrow and let the string vibrate. Hit. The bird falls to the ground, it is already his third. Good Money. 150 Kina he gets for the three birds, that was almost 50 Swiss francs. A lot of money in Papua new Guinea.

Gabriel Win is a farmer and the bird of Paradise hunters. Photo: Franz Lerchenmüller

Gabriel told days later. The farmer has travelled to Goroka and took the six hour bus ride. Now he stands in the garden of a friend, the well-Known, women are moving in his back – out of the Jeans and into the doublet, made out of banana leaves. You paint your face and wear feathers on their heads.

It is the highlight of the year, national holiday and the Goroka Show. Over a hundred tribes travel to the small town in the middle of the country. You have to run on a huge field, singing and dancing, a Jury assessed. There are no melodies, which sound, rather Sounds that come from a different time. "This is our history," says Gabriel, "we maintain it with Pride."

Over 800 languages, a lot of cultures

Papua new Guinea or PNG, as everywhere, is a country that lies somewhere between the past and the present. "The last adventure of this world" one can read in the travel brochures. Anyone who comes here and in the outlying villages, travels, sees, as it once was in many places in the world: simple, small, self-sustaining.

Whether in the adventurous jungle or on the pearl beach white: Almost half of the residents are still without electricity and running water. The people lived here a long time in the Clan and village structures. This is also one of the reasons why in PNG with over 800 languages spoken, and a similar number of different cultures to be maintained.

Gabriel is old, his face is full of Furrows, which time has left its mark, but at his age he can't remember. "Around 50," he says. The time in PNG negligible, it has not, you will be lost. Gabriel's face has a little Wild, a little Grim, but as soon as he laughs, and it takes little, gives way to it's warmth and friendliness.

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Only once, as the Laughter is not coming. The Prejudice. Again and again the Land of the man-eater. "We're not doing that already for a long time," he says. As Dutch and German, the island in the 19th century. Century colonised, they were shocked about what they saw. Cannibals, the brains in the water used to cook; the genitals and the muscles of assen. Gabriel says that his father people have eaten meat, but he had spoken with them, the children hardly. In the sixties people have stopped most of them, anyway. It should be tribes, deep in the forest and not be civilised, people eat.

the birds of Paradise are eaten; in the village of Gabriel is the village elders to change. At all, the ratio of this bird is special. He is adorned with the coat of arms of the country, in PNG there are as many species as anywhere in the world. Many are threatened with extinction.

animal rights activists, Peter travelled from the capital Port Moresby to Goroka to the Festival, he works for a nature Park and doesn't like the bird of Paradise hunting. "Importantly, the enlightenment is, above all," he says. He told the people that certain species are particularly threatened and that you are supposed to store the springs better, so that you don't have to buy every year new. For the spring jewelry it takes up to 30 birds, with 1000 dancers and singers, this is a profitable business for hunters.

Domestic Gewaltist a big Problem

But the country is not only fighting with endangered bird species. On the festival grounds in Goroka traders sit on the ground and offer their Goods – as Cathy. They, too, shrugs at the question according to their age. Her eyes are blue. "My husband has beaten me, when he came home drunk," she says. She wants to divorce you and him in court. At the entrance to the festival grounds, a huge poster reads: "No to violence against women".

The Problem is fundamental. Violence is part of the Melanesian culture. Because it was in the jungle with the tribes, no police and no law was always the law of the jungle. For centuries, the tribes have fought each other, any provocation must be repaid. There was customs, where the Boy who wanted to be a man, go to the enemy's stem and a head, had to return.

So they called in the 50s the Goroka Festival, in order to motivate the tribes to a peaceful deal. There is a saying: as Long as people dance, not to kill you.

The country must itself b>


The newspaper "the National" has recently dedicated to the topic of an editorial. The claim: something must be done. Already today it is forbidden on Fridays, when wages are paid to sell alcohol. All week wages the men have spent on drink earlier these days.

Prime Minister Peter O'neill says the country must believe in. This is difficult, because from the state comes back a little. Unemployment is high, the corruption, the infrastructure is inadequate: there is Hardly a town is connected with the other roads, with their potholes can be a Nuisance, air travel for the lower and middle class to tax. So people cling to the Branches of tourism, to grow – and with it the country as a whole.

The trip was supported by the PNG tourism authority.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 02.05.2019, 19:32 PM

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