Useful Notes: Papua New Guinea

The Independent State of Papua New Guinea is the third most known country in Oceania, after Australia and New Zealand. It's also the second biggest by population, with about 7 million people. The country itself is the eastern part of the island of New Guinea, the western part being of Indonesia.

Before the 1950s, the zone was known for headhunting and cannibalism. Needless to say, you donít get to see much of it today. The common stereotype now is that the entire country is infested with anthropologists doing ethnographic studies.

During World War I it was taken by Australia (from Germany). In the sequel it was a major battleground between Australian, American and Japanese troops, particularly the gruelling Battle of the Kokoda Track. At the end of the war, north and south were united in a single country (until then were administered separately) administrated by Australia. They declared independence in 1975, though they, like Australia and New Zealand, still participate in the Commonwealth.

The country is mostly rural and much unexplored, geographically and culturally, at the point that a lot of people think the country can be a surprise box of wildlife.

Despite the fact the country is so close to the equator, it actually snows in there.

The country is incredibly diverse, to the point there are more than 850 spoken languages in there. Almost all the population is Christian, but there are also animistic religions. Formerly used seashells as currency, something that can be quite weird to the rest of the world (you can still bribe someone with seashells, though).

The Papuan flag
Red and black are auspicious colors for the tribes of the island. At the red stripe is a golden silhouette of the Raggiana Bird-of-paradise, the national bird. At the black stripe is Crux Australis rendered in white, which not only alludes to its location on the southern hemisphere, but also to Australia, its last occupying power.