Christmas in Papua is always celebrated with Christmas Huts, that are usually built by the church youth. Christmas Huts in Papua are decorated with Christmas ornaments like Santa Claus dolls, Christmas tree, bells, Church miniature, and decorative lights. Christmas songs are also heard from these Christmas Huts in Papua and when the night is up, we can see the decorative lights shining bright.
Until today, nobody knows when this tradition of making Christmas Huts in Papua started, but one thing for sure, Christmas Huts in Papua have become a part of Christmas tradition in Papua. These days, the government of Jayapura City has even held a contest for the best Christmas Hut. Christmas Huts in Papua are even built in front of government offices, private companies, Armed Force stations, and Police stations.
For this 2016 Christmas in Mimika, the Department of Religious Affairs in Mimika Regency invites the local government to facilitate the making of Christmas Huts in every churches in that area. According to the Department of Religious Affairs in Mimika Regency, Christmas Huts in Papua can give positive atmosphere to welcome Christmas, the day when Jesus Christ was born. The Forum for Religious Harmony Mimika has also been asking the local government to close the alcohol shops, limit the operation of night clubs, limit the circulation of firecracker, and motor racing, because it can disturb Christmas moments.
“With the splendor of these Christmas Huts in Timika, everyone can forget all negativity. Moreover, December is a month of grace for every Christian as the time to welcome the birth of the savior, in all of our communities,” said the Head of Religious Affairs Department in Mimika, Ulter Adrianus, cited from AntaraPapua.
In Jayapura, the Indonesian Armed Forces from Koramil 1701-16/Unurumguay is cooperating with the people to build Christmas Hut in Jayapura. People from different religions also help the construction of Christmas Huts. The construction of Christmas Huts in Papua is a form of interfaith respect and solidarity in the community in welcoming Christmas day.
“The construction of Christmas Huts are done by the cooperation of local people, that are christian as well as Islam as a form of solidarity and togetherness and also interfaith tolerance in Unurumguat,” said the Captain Inf A Yajid, cited from AntaraPapua.
Christmas Huts in Papua is great tradition with positive values that must be uphold and maintained. Not only that it channels the creativity of the youth, but it can also increase the solidarity and tolerance of the people in Papua.