I always believed languages were created to interact and build better connections with people in our surroundings. But what if I am around somebody who doesn’t speak or understand the same language as mine. Do I still want to befriend the person? I am sure people of Papua New Guinea don’t. Comprising 12% of the worlds’ total languages, I can confidently say that Papua New Guinea is the most culturally and linguistically diverse nation in the world. Out of the 7 million people who live in the island nation, 82% of them are rural tribal people. There are close to 1000 ethnic groups with almost each of them having their own unique language.
Papua New Guinea
is a bridge between Asia and the Pacific and is the second-largest island in the world. The country’s flora and fauna contribute heavily to its cultural hereditary. Almost 70% of the country is an unexplored forest and there are hundreds of tribal clans inhabiting the forest area. The country is situated on a Tectonic plate and has hundreds of volcanoes out of which 67 are active. The country is an ecological extravaganza and is home to one of the most unique birds and marsupial creatures on planet earth.
You should definitely visit Papua New Guinea if you want to meet one of the most unique mankind races on earth. Thousands of tribal ethnic group who occupy the island have distinct cultural beliefs and traditions which they have been carrying forward for generations together. Although it’s important to preserve the culture and heritage passed on from their ancestors, it is also important to be a part of the evolution mankind is facing. At Papua New Guinea, there are tribal wars, where different clans fight with each other for possession of pigs and land. These tribal wars trace back to thousands of years and are considered a part of the culture and are mainly aimed at proving domination. The 800 tribes who have inhabited the Forest area of the island have been fighting with each other for thousands of years and there are hundreds of them losing their lives every single year and all these traces back to one root cause – lack of common language. A common language would have saved multiple lives and would have paved an easy route to various conflict resolutions in a much peaceful manner. Kudos to the people who thought culture can’t be an excuse to promote violence and took initiatives to bring a change.
The capital city Port Moresby is the only urban hub of the island and is filled with people coming from different tribal backgrounds. These people are a living example to the world on how people with multiple differences can come together to form a better world. The people in Port Moresby adopted a common language called Pidgin by deriving words from English and their native tribal languages. Pidgin has played a major role in uniting people to live under one community forgetting their ancestor rivalry. People of Papua New Guinea are taking baby steps to better the status of peace in the country by using language as a medium which in turn was the primary reason for cultural difference and therefore the violence caused by the same.
Are languages dangerous? The more languages we have, the less we can talk to people around us. Research says languages are the number one cause for colonizing people into separate groups. Everyone loves their language and is proud of them. The feeling is appreciated only if it doesn’t turn a bad eye towards other languages. Start leveraging languages as a tool for cultural exchange rather than cultural domination and the world will be a better place.
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