Wednesday, February 27, 2008

20 Things you may (or may not) want to know about PNG

1. It is home to 800+ languages a quarter all those currently in use in the world.
2. PNG is as well known amongst the world’s sociologists as it is amongst anthropologists. The cause of such interest is Cargo Cults-a series of rituals that were supposed to deliver the secret of the Whiteman’s wealth (cargo).
3. PNG’s lowest point is the Pacific Ocean at 0 metres, and highest point is Mt Wilhelm at 4,509 metres.
4. Papua New Guinea government type; Constitutional Monarchy with Parliamentary Democracy.
5. Papua New Guinea is the world’s second largest island after Greenland and Puncak Jaya (formerly Carsenz Top) in the Sudirman Range of West Papua / Irian Jaya at 4,884 metres is the highest point between the Himalayas and the Andes.
6. The main cultural events worth seeing are the Goroka Show (September), The Madang ‘Maborasa’ Festival (August), The Hiri Moale Festival in Port Moresby (September) and The Mount Hagen show (August).
7. 14.8% of PNG is Urban and 85.2% is Rural.
8. PNG’s land area is 462, 840km2 = 0.5% beaches and ridges; 1.5% mangroves; 11% swamps; 15% other lowlands; 43% foothills; 25% mountains 1000-3000 metres above sea level; 4% mountains 3000+ metres and above sea level.
9. PNG’s major trading partners are Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Japan, United States, Singapore, South Korea and Germany.
10. Ramu sugar is the country’s only sugar and ethanol producer, as well as the largest beef and cattle producer.
11. Papua New Guinea is the home of the world’s largest pigeon, largest estuarine crocodile, tallest species of banana, largest moth, largest tree kangaroo, smallest parrots, longest lizard, largest (and second largest) butterfly, largest bush grasshopper, largest bandicoot, largest orchid plant, tallest moss plant, tallest tropical tree species and the best VSO Programme Staff in the world.
12. People from Bouganville are considered to have the blackest skin in the world.
13. In 1990 the population was 3.5 million. In July 2001 the population count was 5, 049,055.
14. In Papua New Guinea, there are 77 kinds of birds, including 12 Birds of Paradise living only in PNG. 46 of the birds are from Bismark Archipelago, 23 from the mainland, 7 from Milne Bay and 1 from Bougainville.
15. PNG’s longest hours of daylight occur late December and early January, and shortest hours of daylight are late June and early July.
16. Porgera (Enga Province) is the largest goldmine in the world outside South Africa.
17. Papua New Guinea is one of the world’s most bio-diverse nations on earth, harbouring 5% of the world’s species in only 1% of the world’s land area, from insects to crocodiles, orchids, to hardwood, sea-snakes and coral to fish.
18. People were gardening in Papua New Guinea when most of the rest of the world were living in caves.
19. The oldest bank in PNG is ‘Westpac Bank’ which was established in 1910
20. The traditional way of broadcasting news was the ‘garamut drum’.

Taken from the Country Briefing Information for Papau New Guinea by VSO PNG Programme Office Copyright VSO 2004

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