West Papua Diary

The Fact About Capital City of West Papua, Known as The City of Oil

Capital City of West Papua

As one of the major oil producers in Indonesia, Sorong, the capital city of West Papua, has the nickname ‘the city of oil.’ This fuel production has been carried out since 1935 under the management of a company called Nederlands Nieuw-Guinea Petroleum Maatschappij (NNPGM).

However, you should know other interesting facts to add to your insight about this province. To dig deeper about it, just do not skip a piece of brief information in this article!

Some Facts About Sorong, The Capital City of West Papua

You may often hear Sorong but have yet to learn about some facts lies on. So, here is the list of those facts you should know about:

1. The New Province in Indonesia

Sorong is located in the 38th province of Indonesia. Its status was ratified at the plenary meeting of the Republic of Indonesia on November 17, 2022. Its coverage comprises six areas, and the limit is up to the ocean, except in the eastern part, which is bordered by land.

On April 18, 2007, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono changed the name ‘West Irian Jaya’ to ‘West Papua’ as a form of regional expansion. Both terms have their own meaning.

‘West Irian Jaya’ means ‘Join the Republic of Indonesia Anti-Netherland,’ while ‘Papua’ refers to the Malay language, which means curly, representing the physical characteristics of the tribe here.

2. The Meaning of Sorong

‘Sorong’ is taken from the Biak Numfor language, namely Soren, which means the deepest and wavy sea. The speakers used to sail boats from one island to another until they finally settled in the Raja Ampat Islands.

Meanwhile, Chinese traders, European missionaries, the Moluccas, and Sangihe Talaud pronounce Soren as Sorong due to their accents. The habit is continuing nowadays as people are familiar with the second one.

3. The Tribes in Sorong

The Sorong tribe is named Moi, and the language used matches the name of the tribe. They inhabit the area of ​​South Sorong and the Raja Ampat Islands. The Moi has major sub-tribes: Segin, Kelim, Klabara, and Abun.

The tribe knows a traditional conservation system called Yegek or prohibition, taught directly by untalan and tulkama (traditional teachers). They teach the students, named uliwi, at the traditional house (kambik).

Yegek education refers to education related to nature insight, and there is almost no modern human life. Malaumkarta village is one area that still applies traditional values ​​to this day.

4. The Other Potential in Sorong

Apart from being an oil-producing city, Sorong has another potential in the industrial, trade, and service sectors since its strategic location is among regencies with a wealth of natural resources.

For instance, West Papua has a seaport, namely the Port of Sorong, and an airport, namely Domine Eduard Osok. From year to year, the regional income increases regularly and affects significant development.

5. The First Special Economic Zone in Papua

This is an economic development program initiated by the government in 2016. The capital city of West Papua has received assistance for the development of the fisheries sector. In addition, the government is also focusing on the logistics industries, shipbuilding, mining, and agro-industry.

6. The Raja Ampat Special Economic Zone

West Papua has tremendous tourism potential. Raja Ampat is a destination that is widely known at home and abroad. Therefore, the government has also implemented this region’s Special Economic Zone program.

This is not surprising since Raja Ampat is the habitat of rare fauna such as cuscus and eagles. The underwater beauty is also mesmerizing with the life of various beautiful species such as fish and coral.

A Prominent Oil Supplier for The World

Sorong, the capital city of West Papua, has been known as a major oil producer since then. However, as time goes by, other potentials in this region must be managed well, such as regional income and introducing Indonesia abroad through the soft-power method.

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