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Papua New Guinea (PNG) Independence Day Celebration in Cairns - 2017

The celebration of Independence Day have become part of a major event in many countries globally. These celebrations become a global occurrence for various reasons. Many countries come to celebrate to signify their country becoming has an independent nation while other nations celebrate the heroes who fought hard and died while fighting for their freedom. Sadly today, there are few nations still fighting for their freedom with bloodshed throughout the world.

Papua New Guinea, a populous country in the South Pacific with profoundly phenomenal diverse culture gained smooth transition of independence from Australia in September 16, 1975 without any bloodshed. Like many other countries, each year they celebrate this special occasion right across the country from remote and isolated areas from highlands to coastal villages to cities and abroad where many Papua New Guineans reside.

Living in this beautiful city of Cairns, Australia is not only the city that I love but because of its laid-back lifestyle, climate, friendliness of the city and it has the largest Papua New Guineans living here outside Papua New Guinea. With no exception, the PNG community living in Cairns took pride to embrace this occasion in a rather rich traditional colourful costumes and themes. They do love to splash their canvasses with red, black, yellow and white and have been celebrating this event away in style. As a Papua New Guinean seeing such country-mates still taking pride in their celebration of cultural heritage provides inspirational for all.

Yes, during this special Independence Day celebration: they came out in their colours, they display them and they deliver them with pride and happiness. I not only took time to witness this colourful Independence Day celebration but at the same time taking some photographs of this event along the way. This event was undoubtedly colourful, entertaining and with pride. It is an event that is certainly put out by the people for the people to celebrate and embrace each other in unity. This was the moment in history to take time to reflect on the history, both for what we celebrate and how we celebrate it. For many Papua New Guineas, we can just say, how easy it was to gain our freedom 42 years ago without any Revolutionary War.

Pictorial Collection of Papua New Guineans at the 2017 Independence Day celebration

Faces of PNG from Highlands region
Faces of PNG from Kairuku, Central region
Traditional beads and bliums from Manus region
Group from Manus region
Townsville: Manus region dancers
Cairns: Manus region dancers

However, beneath this celebration of who we are as a nation, we need to take a minute or two to reflect on why we celebrate and at the same time we need to reflect on where is the country heading now after 42 years of Independence. 

From my personal perspective: Papua New Guinea is a country that is rich in resources than any other Pacific nations, sadly there is a lack of trust in all public institutions. The country today has lack of facilities within health sectors, transportation, education and public utilities and living standard. Somehow, the system is still failing the people

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