Some islands in Indonesia are directly adjacent to other countries, such as Kalimantan, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Papua, and West Papua. West Papua and Papua New Guinea are straightly next to each other because they share the same island. While Papua and West Papua lie in the western half of the island of New Guinea, Papua New Guinea is in the eastern half of the island.
Papua and West Papua were originally known as Irian Jaya until 2000 and are parts of the Republic of Indonesia. Papua New Guinea, in the meantime, has been an independent country since 1975. Because West Papua and Papua New Guinea share the same island, their nature contour, natural resources, and tribes share similarities. To learn more about the differences between West Papua and Papua New Guinea, keep reading.
What Separates West Papua and Papua New Guinea
The separation between these two parts of New Guinea Island happened during expansionism. West Papua was colonized by the Dutch in which the Dutch also colonized most parts of future Indonesia. Meanwhile, the Germans first colonized Papua New Guinea, later the British, and then Australia.
When Indonesia claimed its independence, Indonesia stood for Dutch-colonized territories and Papua and West Papua. As for Papua New Guinea, they got their independence after Australia granted them liberty in 1975.
Because Papua and West Papua belong to the Republic of Indonesia, their national language is Indonesian. However, Papua and West Papua are rich with so many cultures and traditions. Therefore, you will find hundreds of traditional languages in each different tribe in these provinces. Some languages are Abinomn language in Foya, Foja, Jayapura, Airo-Sumaghaghe language in Merauke, Ambai language in Yapen Waropen, Sempan language in Nararapi, Fak-fak, Senggi language in Jayapura, and Silimo language in Ngalik Selatan, Wusak, Wulik, Paiyage, Jayawijaya.
Papua New Guinea, on the other hand, uses English as their language. People in this country also use Hiri Motu and Tok Pisin. The latter language has become a fast-growing creole language that is widely spoken in Papua New Guinea. Besides those three, this country also owns many recognized languages because the people here mostly live in groups. In Port Moresby, the capital city itself, there are several languages with different dialects.
The next differences between West Papua and Papua New Guinea are the governments. Since Papua and West Papua are part of Indonesia, the local governments in these provinces ultimately follow the central government’s rule.
The government in Papua New Guinea is a constitutional monarchy. There are three arms of government in this country: Parliament, the National Executive Council, and the courts. Each of them is independent of the others.
To acknowledge the differences between West Papua and Papua New Guinea based on the economy viewpoint can be seen from each of the GDP or Gross domestic product, that is commonly used to measure the size of an economy. In 2019, Papua New Guinea’s GDP per capita was $2,504, while West Papua reached $3,510 in 2016.
The main mineral resources in Papua New Guinea are copper and gold. Copper is mainly produced in Tembagapura, while gold is mostly produced in Ok Tedi. Similar to Papua New Guinea, Papua and West Papua are also rich in copper and gold. This natural wealth is found in some parts of Papua and West Papua, such as Topo, Paniai, Wasegi Indah in Manokwari, and Dogiyai.
Those are the differences between West Papua and Papua New Guinea. Hopefully, Papua and West Papua store big contributions for Indonesia for their rich natural resources, diversity, and rapid development in many fields.