Malakula Children’s Day – 24/7/2011

Written by Tristan

Information on Childrens Day

Children’s Day is both a country wide annual event and a public holiday.  It that takes place on the 24th of July and has been celebrated since 1923.  The emphasis of the day is about the value of children and fighting child abuse, however for most it is really about children and parents spending time together.  Schools, churches, local governments and other organisations organise events for the day like parades, sports events, public speeches and other activities.  Although presents are often given to children by the parents, the real aim is to have fun together.

Our Visit

We went to a village on Malakula Island to participate in the Children’s Day Celebration.  The children all wore their school uniforms to the event.  A lady came around and poured baby powder on all the kid’s necks, including ours.  This was followed by another lady putting deodorant and more baby powder on us.  The adults then put necklaces on everyone.

A string band played some songs and then everyone went into the church.  The church was a room with a blackboard on one side.  The minister spoke for about half an hour and then church was over.

Once outside the children formed a line.  The parents gave their kids presents.  We were also given a present.  We opened our presents and found popcorn and lollipops!  The adults then shook all of the kids hands, including ours.  We had morning tea with the locals and it was scrumptious!  There was cake, cordial, oreos and popcorn.

After morning tea, the string band played a bit more, before we went back to the boat.  Later in the afternoon we went ashore and played frisbee and soccer with the local pikininis.

The downside of the celebration was that I picked up head lice.  All the kids loved by long hair and kept touching it and some how I picked it up.  Dad cut my hair and then I had to put a treatment on it.

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