Great Hotel Door Hangers We Have Known

BOP Pidgin is the mostly missionary-imposed form of English used originally to communicate with the indigenous people of Papua New Guinea.

In a land where as many as 800 different languages still exist, sometimes changing from valley to valley, a common form of communication became essential as proselitysing, travel and economic activity between the island inhabitants
and Europeans increased.

Tok Pisin, as it is officially known is "now considered a distinct language in its own right because it is a first language for some people and not merely a lingua franca to facilitate communication with speakers of other languages."

Here's a web site that does translations, and here's a dictionary.

Sometimes Tok Pisin will make you smile. We brought this hotel door hanger back from our trip to the highlands Goroka Show several years ago.

(The next time you can manage to be anywhere near PNG in September, take your best camera gear and attend the Goroka Show. It's one of the things you really want to see in life. The next Goroka Show is 17 – 19 September, 2010.)


"You no can come inside." Tok Pisin is a language even I could learn.

And while we're here, proving that there's just about everything somewhere on the internets, check out this really fine hotel door hangers collection as shared by Michael Liebowitz. He writes that his grandfather "had been in the foreign service and he had filled a whole wall of his
study with hotel door hangers from all his travels throughout the
world. They're really beautiful, in aggregate, and I wanted to share.


See photos from the Goroka Show and elsewhere in Papua New Guinea in the Papua New Guinea Gallery at And read a story about our cruise up PNG's very wild Sepik River.

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Don’t Try This at Home: Wild Papua New Guinea

New Guinea is the world’s second largest island, after Greenland. With less than one per cent of the planet’s land area, it contains up to “10% of the total species on the planet.” In West Papua, part of Indonesia, there may be as many as 44 uncontacted tribal groups. A trip to visit any of the people on the island is a real eye opener (See photos from the Goroka Show, an annual tribal show in the PNG highlands).

Based on conversations we had on a trip along the Sepik River, which is in the country of Papua New Guinea, on the eastern side of the island, we wrote earlier about male initiation rites, here. Here is a brief excerpt:

    “We believe the father gives us the knowledge but
the blood comes from the mother and so it must return to her. So my
mother’s brother came from another village.

“The night of the skin cutting we stayed up all night. When it was very
late the men made us go into the water and stay for one hour so our
skin would get soft. Ohhh, it was so cold!

    Lawrence massaged his temples.

    “When it was time I laid down on top of my mother’s brother. So the blood would fall on him. And they cut me.”

    With a flourish he raised his right sleeve to show the results.

    “Sometimes they cut your back but I asked they only cut my arms because I had to go back to work. “

    He had to have time to heal. But he didn’t heal. He was infected.

“I asked for medicine but my grandfather refused. He asked me, ‘What
have you done wrong?’ I said nothing, nothing over and over but he kept
asking me until finally I admitted I had stayed with my girlfriend the
night before.

Read the entire article on the “Sepik River, Papua New Guinea.”

That’s male initiation rites. Now comes a video describing female initiation rites. Have a look:

(See photos from Papua New Guinea in the Papua New Guinea Gallery on

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