By: Rizqi Agung Fauzan (Student of DPP 2013)
My journey to Papua in one-and-a-half months’ Working Lecture (KKN) has confirmed that Papuans are basically full of hospitality and love. I can say that KKN has changed my perspective on Papua.
Papua is the largest island in eastern Indonesia. Its loud natural expanse stretches across this bird-shaped island. This condition also indirectly shapes the image of the community’s character: hard and resilient in facing all challenges in the natural environment.
A strong impression of the Papuan community was also embedded in me. However, living for one and a half months in the middle mountains precisely the District of Ilaga, Puncak Regency has greatly changed my perception.
I live and enjoy daily with these mountain people. It turns out they are a gentle and friendly person. It makes me eager to return to the east of this beautiful country.
Smiles and greetings become a daily culture for the society. When I meet with other people there is always a sweet smile in every greeting to whomever they meet. This is done not only to local fellow citizens, but also to immigrants like us who are currently implementing KKN.
Another form of hospitality in Ilaga citizens is also shown by the habit of always holding hands when walking together. This is done not only to same-sex, but also the opposite sex. To be examined further, such a habit is a sign of a close bond of brotherhood between them.
I dare to assert, the people of Papua are indeed full of love. This is different from what has been reported in the media in recent times. In addition, I also find that the culture of sharing also becomes the glue of relationships among the people. The desire to always share and give to others, has become the most effective symbol to be able to take the hearts of others. Often I and KKN colleagues brought various kinds of farm produce such as sweet potato, taro, corn and so forth when we finish running the program to the citizens. It is very happy to live with them.
Differences background should not necessarily make us far apart. It should be a strength to be one as Indonesia. “Because Papua is also Indonesia and Indonesia is Us,” said a little boy there.
Photo Credit Rizqi Agung Fauzan.
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