Ragianna Week marks 40th anniversary

Divine Word University (DWU) students marked the 40th Independence anniversary of Papua New Guinea with various activities during the Ragianna Week that culminated with the flag raising ceremony on wednesday 16th September.

Ragianna of course refers to the Bird of Paradise (or Kumul in Tok Pisin) species that is the national emblem of PNG. The Ragianna Week was marked with the theme “Searching for Quality through our Core Values in a Land of a Thousand Tribes”.

The Madang campus hosted a hive of activities as students took part in sports, traditional and contemporary musical presentations and the flag raising ceremony.

The flag raising ceremony was held on Wednesday 16th September, the day PNG attained independence from Australia in 1975. Students assembled in their provincial groups starting outside the DWU Diwai Mart shop and walked in a procession to the flag raising area between the main administration office and the Friendship Library.

Pathfinder youths from the Seventh-Day Adventist church dressed in their respective uniforms led the procession and each provincial group.

Staff and their dependents joined the provincial groups in the procession.

As the national anthem was sung, the national and the provincial flags were raised in unison, providing a glimpse of what DWU proclaims itself as “an authentic model for national unity”.

Several traditional wood carvers from the Kambaramba area of East Sepik Province added a tinge of authentic PNG cultural flavour to the Ragianna Week by carving two wooden totem poles behind the PNG Studies and International Relations Department complex, the location where they will be erected.

The carvers had been carving the poles since the annual DWU Cultural Day on Saturday 22 August.

It was the first time for so many students and staff and their dependents from other parts of PNG and the world to see traditional wood carvers from East Sepik, a province renowned for its priceless traditional carvings and other artwork, at work.