A Colourful Day

The Divine Word University students’ annual Cultural Day exceeded expectations as one of the best event ever staged last Saturday 25 August, 2012 at the SVD Oval next to the university campus in Madang.

Many provincial student groups had relatives travelling in from across the country with the bilas (traditional costumes) including, a ‘Tolai Dukduk’ outfit from across the Bismarck Sea in East New Britain.

Western Highlands was by far the biggest provincial group represented with three sub-groups performing different dances –the male and female groups from Melpa (covering Hagen Central, Mul and Dei Council) and Tambul-Nebilyer combined male and female dancers. The Hageners ensured a fleet of Toyota Landcruisers and 25-seater coaster buses made it all the way from WHP with the bilas to give their students the boost they needed on this important day that DWU sets aside for students’ appreciation of their traditional identity.

The Chimbus and Jiwakas, whose cultures and traditional dances are similar, were also captivating performers with their distinct long black plume-clad head-dresses.

The asples (local) Madang students were also out in force, putting on one of their biggest group performance yet.

Notable absentees this time were the princely Huli Wigmen troupe and their jumping wandaris (girls) from new Hela Province whose dance and costume imitate the Bird of Paradise.

Throughout the day, cameras both still and video belonging the locals and expatriates were seen busy captivating the performances of students.

The cultural event was official launched the night before by visiting professor, Dr Jeanette Baird during a colourful parade of representatives of each provincial group at the SVD Memorial Auditorium.  The Cultural Day followed on from the marking of the Foundation Day on Friday 24 August, 2012 where DWU turned 16 as a University.