West Papua is the easternmost island in Indonesia that is already famous for its extraordinary natural beauty. Not only nature, West Papua is also rich in unique local traditions and culture.
One of the local West Papuan cultures that is quite well known is the dance culture that is often displayed outside West Papua. However, not many know that in addition to dances, there are still many unique traditions and cultures stored in West Papua, such as the following cultures and traditions that you must never have known. As summarized from various sources. Here’s the facts and myths about West Papua.
1. West Papua Is Still Left Behind
MYTH. If anyone says West Papua is still lagging behind and there is no development it is a big mistake! Because, West Papua has also advanced quite rapidly and recently President Jokowi is making the Trans Papua route, which will connect cities in West Papua.
2. If West Papua is vulnerable to malaria
FACT. Malaria is an endemic disease that is very feared by people from both West Papua and those from outside Papua.
This disease is feared because it can cause death and there is no antidote other than quinine pills. Symptoms of this disease are fever in the morning until noon then great shivering in the afternoon until evening. Not to mention accompanied by extraordinary headaches and nausea. If you have a fever with symptoms like this it is recommended to immediately go to the doctor to get the right treatment before it gets worse.
3. In West Papua, they must use koteka
MYTH. Maybe for some indigenous West Papuans who live in the interior, they still use koteka. But some areas in West Papua are already cities, so how to dress has also been adjusted to the city as usual.
Even some people also follow fashion and fashionable developments, this is marked by the opening of many famous clothing outlets such as Planet Surf, Ramayana and even Levi’s pants can be bought in Papua. I, who live in Sorong, rarely even meet people who use koteka in everyday life.
4. West Papuans are called drunk
FACT. This is still a bad habit for some West Papuans. They are accustomed to drinking large amounts of alcoholic beverages and causing intoxication even during the day. It’s not a new thing to meet drunk people with sometimes ridiculous attitudes on the streets.
But in some regions there is a special prohibition on the circulation of liquor by the Regional Government. One example in Raja Ampat, here is not allowed to sell liquor and provide liquor to the public.
5. Beautiful West Papua Only in Raja Ampat Only
MYTH. The beauty of Raja Ampat that amazes the world as if to close other natural charms of West Papua. There are still many beautiful places in West Papua, the beauty of West Papua is not only Raja Ampat but the island.
6. The cost of living in West Papua is expensive
FACT. For this I do not deny that indeed the price of goods sold in West Papua is more expensive than the market price in Indonesia in general.
Understandably, all necessities of life still have to be “imported” from Java or other big cities and it is not uncommon to reach West Papua, these items are flown using airplanes. Of course this makes shipping costs very expensive which affects the final selling value of the item.
Therefore, many companies provide “overpriced money” benefits to workers in Papua to offset the high cost of living in West Papua.
7. West Papua only has forests
MYTH. West Papua is actually a large island that is divided into 2 provinces, namely West Papua with the capitals Manokwari and Papua with the capital city of Jayapura, besides that it is also divided into various regencies and municipalities. Indeed, some parts of Papua are still covered by forests, but if you hear the names Jayapura, Sorong, Biak, Manokwari, Fak-Fak, Merauke, Wamena and many others believe these names are in the form of cities.
8. West Papuans are creepy
MYTH. Indeed West Papuans give a scary impression. But actually behind that, West Papuans really uphold the value of brotherhood and the average religious devout.
They do not hesitate to help immediately if they see a relative or friend who is having difficulties. In addition, West Papuans are also very loyal friends and have a high sense of humor. Get ready to laugh loudly at the mop (funny story) they like to tell when they are gathering together.