INDEPENDENCE Day celebrations at the University of Papua New Guinea started at 8am yesterday with the ceremonial flag raising of provincial flags and the national flag at the ceremonial area near the forum square. A UPNG tradition.
The opening took place away from the main campus on the lower fields near the security base.
Scores of spectators braved the Moresby heat and dust to catch a glimpse of the colourful dancers in their traditional costumes.
Also present to witness the event were visitors from the Queensland University of Technology and the University of South Pacific.
Many international and local tourists flocked to witness an array of dances and took pictures of the performers.
They expressed amazement, over the diversity of culture that Papua New Guinea had which were shown, expressed in traditional dresses and performances.
The visitors were happy with the pictures that captured such diversity.
“The students have to get ready for their performances a couple of weeks before the real event,” Xavier Wablasu said on the dance by the West New Britain students. The dance is originally from the Talasea/Nakanai area.
“The male participants usually have to camp for the night before the event, as traditions and sacred rituals for the dance are vital,” Mr Wablasu said.
The dance involved the whipping of the male dancers with canes.
Dancers from four different regions of PNG were also on show.
The international students’ body from neighbouring countries also had dance groups. This included the Solomon Islands and the West Papuans of Indonesia.
The university’s festivities will end tomorrow with the “battle of the bands” musical extravaganza which will also be held at the forum square.