Most of us mostly think of West Papua in the wrong manner. People see Papua as an island filled only with wild forests and primitive tribes. People are also afraid of visiting this island, having a thought that it is not a safe place.
There are also other things that lead us to certain kinds of misconception. The truth is, they have so many fascinating and captivating places to visit. This province has lots of beautiful natural spots, unique culture, and tribes’ hospitality.
Get to know this province further by learning myth and fact about West Papua below:
Papua Is Nothing But Forest
You will indeed see a great number of forests. Papua is one of the islands in Indonesia with a very large forest area, but it doesn’t mean that they are only filled with woodlands. The truth is, there are many modern buildings and entertainment venues like most cities in Indonesia have.
They also have malls, cafes, supermarkets, and many others. There are Ramayana Mall Sorong in Sorong, Manokwari City center XXI & Mall in Manokwari, and Plaza Thumburuni in the Fakfak district. So get rid of the thought that going to this place means going to a wilderness.
Papuan Wears Koteka
Koteka is indeed a traditional Papuan dress, but you will not see every man in Papua wears this as you walk in the street. Koteka, in fact, is facing extinction. Modern life has thought locals about modern clothes and outfits that cover their skin more. That is why Koteka becomes an expensive item that tourist can find when making a visit.
This traditional penis sheath is rarely used but is mostly worn only in certain traditional events and certain areas. Koteka is also prohibited if used on public transportation and at school. However, in Wamena, this traditional clothing is still often used.
Papuan Love to Get Drunk?
Yes, drinking alcohol is very common here. They even drink alcohol during the day. So, you will be accustomed to seeing drunken people even in daylight. Sometimes, they will act silly manner on the street.
However, the local governments don’t shut their eyes to this bad habit. The Regional Government set up specific prohibitions regarding the circulation of liquor in some areas. For example, is in Raja Ampat. It is banned to sell or provide liquor to the community.
West Papua Only Has Raja Ampat as Tourism Destination
Is this myth or fact? This is, of course, not true. The world has known Raja Ampat as a cluster of four islands located in the western part of Papua. For divers, Raja Ampat is their most breathtaking paradise because it is home to most of the world’s coral reefs biodiversity and rare species of marine life.
However, Papua has more magical natural spots ready to amaze you. For example, Cenderawasih Bay National Park, Karmon Waterfalls, Doreri bay, Tapurarang Archaeological Site, Baliem valley, Framu Lake, and Fakfak Mountains.
Papua is Prone to Malaria
This is sadly a fact. Malaria becomes a disease that West Papuan is very much afraid of. Symptoms of this disease are fever in the morning until noon then severe chills in the afternoon until evening. The death caused by Malaria is still high.
Thankfully, health facilities are improving rapidly. Numbers of the hospitals and public health centers are built. Not to mention, more medical personnel are ready to help in creating a more healthy and productive society. Specialist doctors are also offered a high salary.
West Papua People Are Scary
Most people still judge others from their appearances. Maybe that’s the reason Papuan are considered fierce and scary. It is because of their big and tall figures and also their dark skin. However, the saying to never judge the book by its cover is true.
Locals are very friendly. They really uphold the value of brotherhood and have a strong faith in God. That is why each of them is willing to help each other once their friends or families are facing difficulties. Besides, they also have a strong sense of humor. They enjoy telling jokes when gathering together.
West Papua Has Expensive Living Expenses
Compared to other cities in Indonesia, some goods are indeed more expensive. It is because most of the things sold in this province are imported from outside the island, mostly from Java. To arrive on the island, these goods are flown by airplanes, so the prices are to cover up this shipping cost.
So, how do you see it now? We hope the myth and facts about West Papua we’ve mentioned above can change your perspectives about this beautiful and fascinating province.