Papua: Point of view

The Curious Tribe *New To UKTV Documentary* Weekdays, 9pm (from Friday 5th
September) A televisual, anthropological experiment, The Curious Tribe sees
Donal MacIntyre host five members of the Insect Tribe from Papua New Guinea in
his London home. Turning the tables on his own visit to Papua New Guinea, the
tribe swap their war paint for sweaters and travel to Britain to satisfy their
own curiosities about the British way of life. The Curious Tribe, new to UKTV
Documentary, is a look at the ordinary things western society takes for granted,
and through their eyes we begin to discover that some of our own customs and
eccentricities are not as far away from theirs as we might have thought.
Throughout the three-part series, the tribe encounters snow, escalators, beds,
and even a football match.

I really liked that documentary from 2007. It is useful to be able to look at your life from a completely different point of view! Favorite moments: when one of the PNG people is in the winter forest and says something like “how strange and sad it is when trees are without leaves”; when in a church one of them says that man can’t build this, only God. Well, that’s right, man can’t build this without God’s help! We keep forgetting about this.

I enjoyed this “natural” people’s resistance to shopping culture – they couldn’t imagine buying things they don’t need. And a special treat for a person from Russia like me: how PNG people see “retirement houses”. For them its obvious that children abandoned their parents in that nursing care home, didn’t returned the favour for bringing them up! Majority of the people from this planet would probably agreed – but not British or Americans. Mind you, seeing my mother and elderly grandmother arguing horribly all the time with the grandmother rapidly loosing any touch with reality I started looking better towards nursing homes. But I don’t think it is an option in Russia at the moment, for better or for worse.

Anyway I was amazed how healthy the PNG people looked, even women with 7 children. Imagine a British, American or Russian lady with so many kids! Maybe its because they start early in New Guinea…

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