Monday, September 28, 2009

Glimpses of life in Papua - youtube videos

I regularly hit times when I do obsessive searches on the net to find something, anything, about Papua. Something that will give me a glimpse, a connection to the place a I grew up. It's so unfamiliar and foreign to my life in this country that seeing a video or a blog post filled with pictures reassures me: it is real, it really is as beautiful as I remember, I really did grow up traveling in and out of the jungle and beaches and stone-age villages of Papua, Indonesia.

The first thing that triggered my latest Papua binge was this video:

Apparently this is a funny random video that was presented at last year's Junior-Senior banquet at my school. It's completely nonsensical at times, but so much about it is familiar - the gorgeous hill overlooking the lake and rolling Sentani valley, the scenes in the local airport, the kids on the motorbike, and most of all the goofy fun-loving third-culture kids. Not much has changed, honestly, in the last 10 years.

That video led me to a series of videos posted by a family that worked side-by-side with my family when I first moved out there in the mid-90's. I remember the name of their village, my dad went out there often and I think my brother took a summer trip to hang out with the boys. These images are both so foreign and so familiar to me:

Unbelievable, isn't it? Papua is sort of the last frontier, where vast swaths of land are untraveled and unmapped.

I love the Papuans, and I love Papua.
This video, of a humm/chat/song, reminds me of a family vacation spent in a village in the Baliem Valley. We attended a church service where all of the music was like this. The cool thing about that, looking back, is that they had contextualized praise and worship instead of adopting Western styles (which usually happens with missionaries).

I also remember going with my mom and taking dance lessons for this kind of dance in Jayapura. There's special foot-work that you have to learn, it was super hard but the music is just SO cheerful.

Oh, one more! This is not Papuan, it's Indonesian. This kind of music video played constantly on tv and in restaurants the entire time I lived in Indonesia. It's indescribably cheesy - SO FUNNY...


Niamh Griffin said...

That first film cracked me up - reminded me of the great things that you can do with kids when you have the funding and the time to run with it. Interntional schools aren't perfect by any means but the students definitely get a lot more time to just be kids. It's not meant to make sense and probably in ten years they'll be so embarrassed!
Hope you get to eat some good food and feel better!

Bethany said...

Wow, what a neat part of the world. I'd love to visit there someday :)