Celebrating the National Day in Papua New Guinea

The most important day for the Romanians. The National Day.

I thank the soldiers that fought for this country, that made possible for us to live in a country named Romania. The king Ferdinand said one day: “As long there will be a patch of Romanian land free of occupation, I will stay there. As long there will be a soldier left to fight and a Romanian flag, I will stay next to them, regardless to the fate I will have”.

Sometimes we won, sometimes we lost, sometimes we were under occupation but we have never given up our faith, language and flag. This is my country. Beautiful cities, fantastic mountains, breathtaking landscapes, welcoming people and heavy traditions.

Today we are not in Deva, our city, neither are we in Bucharest for the military parade. Today we are in Papua New Guinea, on the other side of the planet. But we took care to take with us everything we needed in order to celebrate properly the national day. First let me tell you what we did in the morning before showing our hosts, the Mondika tribe, all those things about Romania.

We set off together with five boys from the family for a trip around the village. Ten minutes later a crowd of 30 people was following us. Everybody was staring at us, shaking our hand and talking to us. So I took the opportunity and told everyone that in the afternoon we will celebrate our National Day and that we will have a surprise for them.

By the time we made it back to the hut that had served as home to us for all those days, there were at least 20 kids waiting for us. And they kept coming. I took out a map of the world and I showed them where my country is located and where is Papua New Guinea.

“ Far, far away “ they said. Yes, far, far away. I showed them after a map of Romania and pointed to them the location of my city, Deva, and my county, Hunedoara. And then I gave them a book about our region that they effectively devoured. They were so keen to learn about that far away country. It had such an exotic name for them. Romania, Europe, Romania, Europe. I remembered the way my father was saying to me before setting off : Papua New Guinea, baby. Papua New Guinea!

Then I took out the little gifts I had brought for them. First the candies, and man, what a fight ensued. Kids are the same everywhere. Then I took out the tattoos, heart shaped stickers with the Romanian colors on them, And another fight. We were having so much fun. For a while I tried to glue them on their fronts but the demand was so big that I could not keep up anymore and I showed them how to do it by themselves. Dad was taking snapshots and videotaping like a madman. He had felt sick and had a swollen cheek but he was trying hard to be up to the task. His baby was on an one man show performance.

Last surprise were the bracelets offered by mister Dan Terteci, from my city, and the organizers of the “The prize winners without prizes” an activity carried out in my city every Saturday through which outstanding people are being congratulated and thanked by the community.

At the end, tens of kids and adults were wearing our bracelets with the national colors. They looked so happy. We were happy too. Dad was effectively radiant. The kids gathered up again and, in order to thank me, shouted in unison: “ Hello Romania” And every body burst out in laughter. Dad was having tears in his eyes.

We started playing after. The atmosphere was sensational. I forgot to tell you that, at my request, Mother had painted my face in the traditional way of the Mondika girls. And then she had painted Jessie, one of the boys. Jessie also had agreed to don the traditional suit. Which means taking off some of the clothes. We played for hours in a row. Dad and I, in Papua New Guinea, surrounded by a crowd of Mondika people, all wearing our traditional colors.

We were happy. Everybody was happy. Friendship over the oceans. People from the opposite sides of the planet meeting and having fun together. Thank you God.

Well, that’s all for today. Thank you for reading my article


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