Chilli soup dishes spice up celebrations

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 4th January 2012

IT’S a norm in Gabensis village in Wampar, Huon Gulf district, Morobe, to cook up a chilli soup to celebrate the dawn of each New Year as the men say no to alcohol for the day.
With burnt (marafri) banana on a fire, the women make two pots of soup.
The pots comprise 50 chickens sliced into pieces and boiled in one pot while 50 tin fish go into the second pot of soup.
The added flavour that goes into the pots of soup is 100 chillis each.
After drinking the both pots of soup, the chilli stimulates men and women to get to the foyer with kundu drums, beating, singing and dancing to welcome the dawn of the New Year.
In doing so, it is a community law that no one is allowed to drink alcohol on Jan 1 to celebrate the day.  
The people dance until they begin collapsing to the ground.
Youths then rush in with stretchers to immediately evacuate those who collapse.
They take and dump the folks into a nearby creek for an early morning wake-up bath.
After getting into dry clothes, the people return to share a proper feast for the day.