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Get lost in a sea of 50,000 locals at the largest cultural extravaganza staged by Papua New Guinea.

On average, only 300 overseas visitors attend this festival, so it’s guaranteed to be full of local flavour. The Hagen Show pits one tribe against another in a sing- and dance-off, a battle to gain status without bloodshed.

WHY: The show’s roots are in colonial times when the Europeans sought to reduce tribal fighting by channelling inter-tribal rivalry through competitions for the best cultural performance (crafty). Today, the tribal groups compete for cash prizes along with honour and glory.

DO IT BECAUSE: Aside from the spectacular dances, you can get a backstage glimpse into the dancers’ preparations in Paiya Village. In this informal setting, visitors watch the performers apply their make-up and body decorations before the performance.

August 9-15
Papua New Guinea


Photo: Getty Images

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Travel diary: Mount Hagen Show in Papua New Guinea, August 9-15
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