An interesting dynamic is happening in West Papua right now, where students at various universities in West Papua are coming to lectures in their campuses wearing their traditional clothes, instead of wearing trousers and shirts.
As reported by Tabloid Jubi in West Papua and posted in Papua.News that students from Mee Tribe (Koteka Tribe) are wearing their traditional clothes when attending lectures at universities in West Papua, There are seven major tribes in the highlands of West Papua that traditionally wear the Koteka (Penis Gourd or Kebewak)
The person started this was Divio Tekege, a Mee Tribesman student at Cenderawasih University, in Port Numbay (Jayapura).. Cenderawasih University is the first government university that existed since Indonesia occupied West Papua and most of the educated Papuans are from this university.
His revolutionary action was responded by various parties as a positive move, as West Papua is loosing the Melanesian identity due to Indonesia’s deliberate policies to Indonesian-ize Melanesians in West Papua.
This news has become spiral among West Papuan students and it is expected that this re-claiming of Melanesian identity by young generation will be followed up by other students at personal levels, at family and village levels, and by all West Papuans at national level.
To be human does not always mean wearing modern western clothes. To be a university students does not mean the clothes should be the same as those Indonesians.
This is an act of self-identification and self-definition that should become a trend all over West Papuans and across Melanesia. Most students in Melanesia should think about wearing their traditional clothes when they go to schools. What about that?