West Papua and the New Guinea Papua Country have some similarities. Probably because of the similar ethnic and traditions. Many people also need clarification on the differences between those two. Especially since the Asmat tribe is the inhabitant of the two areas, the confusion is quite natural.
However, keeping people confused about it is wrong since the two are different areas and countries. Hence, we will learn about the difference between the two in this article. Keep it in mind and remember it.
4 Differences Between West Papua and New Guinea Papua Country
The separate territory between West Papua and Papua New Guinea was because of colonialism. When colonialism happened, West Papua was colonized by the Dutch along with other parts of the Indonesian islands. This makes West Papua part of the Dutch East Indies.
Papua New Guinea was colonized by the Germans, then by the British, and also by Australia. Later, this country was given independence by Australia in 1975.
Before the independence of Papua New Guinea, West Papua was already part of the Act of Free Choice and included them as Indonesian. This is what makes the two regions become a different territories.
The differences between those two areas might be more than four. However, since this is a summary, we will need to compress the information so we won’t confuse you again. Here is the information.
● Based on Language
The differences between the two can be seen in the matter of language. As a part of Indonesia, West Papua has Bahasa as the official language. There are also Papuan Malay and local languages that the Indigenous Papuan uses.
Besides those languages, there are also people from other islands in Indonesia that work and live in West Papua. Those people will also probably speak local languages like Javanese, Batak, and many more.
Papua New Guinea uses English and another language, such as Hiri Motu and Tok Pisin. Besides this significant language, 800 other languages exist within the country. And those are the differences between the two official languages.
● Based on Government
In terms of governance, West Papua is part of Indonesia. The central authority in Jakarta, therefore, governs the region. Local rules, such as the governor and the head of the city, govern West Papua.
Meanwhile, New Guinea Papua Country is an independent country. It has its government system and also the Prime Minister. Like Canada and Australia, the country depends on the United Kingdom as part of the monarch.
● Based on Population
The two areas have significant differences in terms of population. As a nation, Papua New Guinea has a population of more than 8 million as of 2018. In contrast, West Papua only has about 963,000. It is smaller than Papua New Guinea.
● Based on Religion
The colonialism era might influence the difference between religious worshipers two. The Dutch colonized West Papua. In that era, the Dutch sent some missionaries to spread the Protestant religion not only in Papua but also to other nations.
In the eastern part of Papua, now called New Guinea, the three countries that occupied that place were not particularly pushing any religion to them. This makes West Papua more than half Protestant, unlike Papua New Guinea, which has diverse religious beliefs.
So those are the differences between West Papua and New Guinea Papua Country that you need to know. You need to understand those two again to be able to compare them.
Knowing this basic knowledge will save you from further misunderstanding or even humiliation. Pray that it won’t happen to you.