National Day of Papua New Guinea

Article excerpt

The Independent State of Papua New Guinea celebrates its National Day Wednesday. Papua New Guinea, the world’s second largest island (after Borneo), is located north of Australia and east of Indonesia. Port Moresby is the country’s capital and largest city.The indigenous population of Papua New Guinea is one of the most diverse in the world. Papua New Guinea has several thousand separate communities, most with only a few hundred people. The country’s official language is English, but there are about 800 different languages and about 200 different cultures among its nearly five-million population.The southern half of eastern New Guinea was first claimed by Britain in 1884. It was transferred to Australia in 1905. The northern half was claimed in 1884 by Germany but captured in World War I by Australia, which was granted a League of Nations mandate and then a United Nations trusteeship over the area. The two territories were administered jointly after 1949, and self-government was given on December 1, 1973. …