Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day here in Papua New Guinea, a national holiday much like America’s Memorial Day.  It is a day to remember and honor those who fought to protect the good country of PNG.

But what wars, you ask, did Papua New Guinea fight?  Well, since you really must know, I looked into it for you. And here are the facts (in highly abbreviated form)…

PNG (would you believe?) was actually an ally of the US in World War II.  In the midst of that World War’s Pacific War, Japanese troops landed on our island in hopes of taking over the capital city of Port Moresby.  Presumably, the idea was to cut off any connection between the US and Australia.  But a group of hearty Papua New Guineans, members of the Papua Infantry Battalion, held strong on the night of July 23rd (that’s today!) – which was just long enough to allow Australian reinforcements to arrive and secure Port Moresby from capture in the months that followed.  The battle over PNG (and those who gave their lives for it’s protection) is celebrated here even now, 70 years later.

Here’s a map, if you’re into that sort of thing:

And what, you also ask, do we do on a national holiday here in the Papuas?  Well, we don’t have school, for one.  So I figured it was as good a time as any to throw a pancake party at my place.  (Actually, someone else suggested the idea.  I of course see no obvious connection between War Memorials and Pancakes…. but I also make a practice of never turning down a pancake party).  It was quite the crowd that showed up, and all turned out well, despite the fact that I was reduced to using powdered milk (which is really not all that bad, if I do say so myself).


In other news (and I’m afraid to say this has not a thing to do with anything I’ve written above), my Creative Writing class is now a go, as a full five students have signed up to take it.  We begin on the morrow (!).

10 thoughts on “Remembrance Day

  1. “our island” leads me to believe you are settling in quite nicely. pancakes with powered milk….hmmm…that’s a new one. i don’t think i will try it though. it sounds totally nasty to me. on another subject…why is the one star on the flag smaller than the others?

  2. Yay!!! You got your creative writing class; I’m so glad and know you are too:) Well, now I know you’re settling in well, if you are beginning to have your pancake parties…sweet. Love and missing you.

  3. mmmmmM! Pancake parties in the papuas. Did any students attend? Wondrous news about the new class – I say, give em “Fruitle-Oodles” as a primer. Then they’ll be up all night wonderin *what* they got themselves into. Are any of the creative writers in your other classes as well?

  4. Christine! I took your “smaller star” question to the masses (my students), and have learned the truth of the matter: the star formation is that of the Southern Cross (sort of the Orion’s belt of the Southern Hemisphere). Apparently, the small star is just a bit less bright than the others. Why that particular constellation is on the flag, though – I haven’t the slightest idea.

    As for the pancakes, yes, the store here does have a few oddments that made their way into the batter this time – notably some sprinkles that taste like Fruit Loops and some Indonesian Oreos. All very tasty, if I do say so myself…

  5. Thanks to the 15 hour time difference, this just in from Spell Check: that would be “possibilities”.

  6. Hahahaha. Spelling is actually a bit of a complicated subject over here. Since I have both British and American students, they spell things differently (color/colour, moralize/moralise, etc.). I’m supposed to count off if an American spells it the British way or if a Brit spells it the American way.


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