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Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is an independent state of Oceania that encompasses the eastern half of New Guinea, the world's second largest island, and approximately 600 surrounding islands and atolls. According to Countryaah, the land area is 462 840 km 2. The western part of New Guinea, with the provinces of Papua and West Papua, belongs to Indonesia. The Torres Strait separates the country from Australia. In the east, Papua New Guinea borders the Solomon Islands. The population is around 7.4 million people (World Bank 2014).

The Portuguese adopted the name Ilhas dos Papuas for the area in the 18th century, but the origin of the name Papua is unclear. The most popular belief is that it derives from the Malay word for "frizzy hair" (papua), while another theory claims that it comes from the word biak people west of the island used for "the land during [the sunset]" (sup in papwa).

New Guinea was the name European explorers later used on the island because the people they met reminded them of Guinea's people in Africa. When Papua New Guinea was divided between colonial powers Britain and Germany, were Papua used for the British in the south and New Guinea (Neuguinea) for the northern German part. Papua New Guinea is known for the rainforest's unique flora and fauna and its cultural and linguistic diversity.

Papua New Guinea has been independent since September 16, 1975. The national anthem is O Arise, All You Sons.

Religion and Languages of Papua New Guinea

Other Countries in Oceania

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