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sunnuntai 16. lokakuuta 2016

Papua New Guinea, Cool Facts #151

<= 150. Palau                                                                                                  152. Solomon Islands =>                   

1. Flag of Papua New Guinea 

The current flag design of the Papua New Guinean flag was adopted in 1971. Australia, which had administered the country prior to independence, proposed a flag, which got mainly negative reception.

Flag of German New Guinea

Proposed flag for Papua New Guinea

A nationwide competition for a new flag design was arranged and the winning design was made by a 15-year old school girl Susan Huhume (maiden name Karike). The flag designed by Susan used black-white-red, which was also the color of the German Empire, which colonized Papua New Guinea prior to 1918.

Symbolism in the flag:

Bird of Paradise: represents the unification of the people under one nation
Southern Cross: shows that the country is in the southern hemisphere and unity with the other countries in Oceania, who also use the same symbol in their flags

Countries in the world, which use the Southern Cross in their flag: 

New Zealand
Papua New Guinea

Flags with Southern Cross

2. Geography of Papua New Guinea 

The island of New Guinea is divided between two countries, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia's two provinces. 

Indonesian part of New Guinea
The Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua were formerly occupied by the Dutch in 1828. In 1963 Indonesia occupied the Dutch New Guinea and made it the Indonesian region of Western New Guinea

Eastern part of New Guinea
The eastern part of the New Guinea island constitutes the majority of the land area of Papua New Guinea, which also has many islands near the mainland. The mainland is a combination of former British colony of Papua and German colony of German New Guinea

Timeline of the history of New Guinea island 
1545 Papua New Guinea was claimed to the Spanish Crown.  

1828 European powers divided the island. The Dutch got the western part, the British and Germans fought over the eastern parts. 
1905 The British transferred the administration of Papua to Australia
1910s Australia got the right from League of Nations to administer German New Guinea after World War I 
1949 Papua and New Guinea became one unified mandate area called the Territory of Papua and New Guinea 
1975 Papua New Guinea became independent

Papua New Guinea (1884-1919)
Papua New Guinea now

3. Bougainville Civil War 

Independence of Papua New Guinea
In 1975 Papua New Guinea gained independence from Australia and at the same year the island of Bougainville declared itself independent as Republic of the North Solomons. The republic failed to get any international recognition, so in 1976 Bougainville was incorporated back to Papua New Guinea with increased self-governance powers.

Historical background of the civil war 1988-1998
In 1969 vast copper ore deposits were discovered in Bougainville Island. A huge mine was established by Australia. Thousands of workers started arriving to the island, mainly Papua New Guineans. The immigration caused tension because the Bougainvilleans didn't want foreigner on their land, especially Papua New Guineans. In 1988 tensions over the mine led to violence, starting the civil war as Papua New Guinea's forces were deployed.

Facts of the civil war
- Papua New Guinea fought against the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) 
- The largest conflict in Oceania since World War II
- An estimated 15,000-20,000 dead

End of the conflict
Ceasefire was established in 1998 and in 2001 a peace agreement was reached. The Autonomous Bougainville Government was also established in 2001.

Bougainville flag

4. World's Most Languages in One Country 

Papua New Guinea has over 820 indigenous languages, which represents 12% of the total languages in the world. Papua New Guinea has more languages than any other country. Most of the languages have fewer than 1000 speakers. 

Indigenous languages are grouped in two large groups:

Austronesian languages
Papuan languages 

Official languages: 

English: language of government and education, not widely spoken
Tok Pisin: English creole language
Hiri Motu: more used than Tok Pisin in the southern region of Papua
Papua New Guinean sign language

Top 5 Countries with most languages (population)

1. Papua New Guinea: 820 languages (7,1 million)
2. Indonesia: 742 languages (250 million)
3. Nigeria: 512 languages (174 million)
4. India: 427 languages (1.25 billion)
5. USA: 311 languages (319 million) 

Languages in New Guinea

5. Society of Papua New Guinea 

- One of the world's most rural places as only 18% of the population live in urban centers
- One of the least explored countries culturally and geographically
- Uncontacted people and undiscovered plants and animals are thought to exist in the interior of the country 
- One of the world's most heterogenous nations with hundreds of indigenous ethnic groups 
- An estimated thousand cultural groups exist in Papua New Guinea 
- Sea shells were used as currency until 1933 
- Papua New Guinea is potentially the worst place in the world for gender violence
- The country has no railways  

People on the beach of Port Moresby


42,000-45,000 Years ago the first humans arrived in Papua New Guinea
7000sBC Agriculture developed in the New Guinean highlands
500BC Major migration of Austronesian speaking peoples to the coastal areas
1545 Spanish explorer Yñigo Ortiz de Retes visited the islands of Papua New Guinea and claimed them to the Spanish Crown
1828 The island of New Guinea was divided between Europeans, the Dutch took the western part and the British and Germans fought over the eastern parts
1884 Germany ruled the northern part of the island as German New Guinea and the southern part was ruled by United Kingdom as British New Guinea
1905 Papua Act 1905, the British transferred the area they controlled to Australia
1910s German New Guinea was captured by Australia during the World War I and after the war Australia was given to right to administer the area as a League of Nations Mandate
1940s Japan occupied the area during World War II but Australia captured it back in the end of the war
1949 The former British area of Papua and German area New Guinea became one unified UN mandate area called the Territory of Papua and New Guinea
1960s Papuan rebellion movement emerged demanding Papua for the Papuans
1963 Indonesia occupied the Dutch New Guinea and made it the Indonesian region of Western New Guinea
1965 The Australian's permitted the Papuans to use their own symbols in sports events
1975 Papua New Guinea gained independence with Michael Somare as first Prime Minister of the country
1975 Bougainville island declared itself independent as Republic of the North Solomons
1976 Bougainville was incorporated back to Papua New Guinea with increased self-governance powers
1988-1998 Bougainville Civil War
2005 Autonomous Bougainville elected Joseph Kabui as the island's first president
2009 Anti-Chinese rioting involving tens of thousands of people 

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