From Sankamap to Sandaun- popular tag names – POST-COURIER


January 20 2023
For some reasons, Papua New Guineans always want to have a unique identity.

BY PAUL MINGA
For some reasons, Papua New Guineans always want to have a unique identity.
As if a thousand tribes is not enough, the 800 language groups are always up to something breezy to stay ahead of the rest in slangs, blends and strands.
Those nicknames reflect a feature or identity of that place or province. In most instances it is as a result of the place unique landscape or the type of people living in an area or it could be as a result of the place, weather pattern or soil structure.
Or as a result of the growth and surplus of particular plant species, garden food or as ideal place – becoming home to a particular wildlife, birds or fish species.
Each province have its own typical name tag apart from its real name. So let’s start off with the five New Guinea Islands provinces.
The Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) popularly started off as North Solomons ––Sankamap, the place of the rising sun.
For a newcomer to Bougainville – it is indeed an amazing sight to see sun rising at such a time. From ARoB let’s travel across to New Ireland Province, typically called Bilas Peles.
ln English, a place of beauty. Leaving Bilas Peles we travelled to Admiralty islands or Manus Province.
This tiny NGI province is known as “Chauka Land” referring to its famous bird species found only in Manus.
Fire dancing and volcanoes promote East New Britain Province. Nowadays, its just Radazz or Ples Blo Maunten Paia or Land of Volcanoes.
Heading to West New Britain Province, also known as “Oil Palm Country, for its huge and massive area of land used for the growth and cultivation of oil palm by companies and local growers.
Nowadays, Pasin West is the tag for all things Sesele.
West Sepik Province and at the border of West Papua beckons. Vanimo is the capita, also called Sandaun Province, which is the opposite of Sankamap.
In English, it can be interpreted to as the place of setting sun.
East Sepik Province where sago and pukpuks are the standard measure for PS kantri.
From East Sepik, you travel down to Madang Province. Now you are in a place that is known by two popular tags –– flying fox country or Beautiful Madang.
Interestingly, even if its still day time in Madang – you will see flying foxes flying around. While generally, speaking Madang itself is beautiful as its name tag says it all.
Leaving Beautiful Madang, you arrive in Morobe Province. The province known as Wopa Country. This name tag was given to the province after a biscuit making company in the province produced a most loved biscuit product by a brand name Wopa.
As you leave Mamose region and travel across to the Papuan region, you start at the tip of PNG with Milne Bay Province.
This particular province, many people nowadays give its nickname as Size 28 Country or Samatex which is a reinvented word for the province former township Samarai.
As we slowly move up to Central – another Papuan province. Which is known as the “Land of the Papuan Black, referring to a poisonous species of snake.
From within Central Province, you simply walk over to PNG’s nation’s capital Port Moresby, which is also known as Pom city. Leaving POM for Gulf – another Papuan province at times known as K-Town meaning Kerema town.
A recent popular addition is 600 ways from the PMV designation for Port Moresby to Kerema along the famous Hiritano Highway.
From Gulf, we move to Western Province, which is also given another name tag as Barramundi Country, this refers to a much sought after species of fish found plentiful in Western and Gulf waters.
We move to the other end of the region to Oro or Northern Province. Typically, Northern most times referred to as Cowboy Country or The Land of Birdwing Butterfly.
Finally, you travel over to a fourth and last region and that is Highlands region, starting off with Hela Province in the southern part of the Highlands region.
Hela broke away from the rest of Southern Highlands a decade ago and is operating on its own. It is typically known as The Land of Huli Wigmen.
Something interesting about Huli wigmen. Their sparkling traditional attire is another major tourist attraction for PNG –– both domestically and internationally.
Not far from Hela, you get across to Southern Highlands, popularly known as “Muruk Land” meaning the land of cassowaries due to the different species of cassowaries found in the jungles there.
Leaving SHP for a trip further along the Highlands Highway, you then arrive in Western Highlands or Kange Kantri –– the word Kange means boys or men in the Melpa language of Western Highlands.
We continue east until you come to PNG’s second breakaway province of Jiwaka, which is called “Free Country” because the people are friendly and welcoming.
The town, districts and villages are peaceful and inviting for visitors to move around at will without fear.
From Jiwaka you head east to Chimbu Province, typically known as ‘Angra’ or Limestone Country.
Angra means boy in Chimbu vernacular while the second expression – best describes the popular landmark of the province with countless peaks and boulders of limestones found in almost every part of the province.
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The Prime Minister James Marape has remarkably set history in this country when he travelled by road during the New Year festive period from his home town of Tari in Hela province down to Kikori in the Gulf province then later retraced the route back to the Southern Highlands then to Western Highlands, Jiwaka, Chimbu, Eastern Highlands then to Morobe and eventually to Madang on January 2, 2023.
A journey of a thousand miles began here. Those were words from Caritas Kundiawa coordinator Judy Gelua when she arrived in Nondri.
Kaupa Tapio is a security guard at the old and abandoned National Housing Corporation head office at Tokarara.
The Prime Minister James Marape has remarkably set history in this country when he travelled by road during the New Year festive period from his home town of Tari in Hela province down to Kikori in the Gulf province then later retraced the route back to the Southern Highlands then to Western Highlands, Jiwaka, Chimbu, Eastern Highlands then to Morobe and eventually to Madang on January 2, 2023.
A journey of a thousand miles began here. Those were words from Caritas Kundiawa coordinator Judy Gelua when she arrived in Nondri.
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