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Mama Papua in Defending Her Economic Rights

by Senaman
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PAPUA – Mama is the source and hope of life, Papuans feel that life without mama is the same as losing love and hope for life. Mama is synonymous with life, Papuans sometimes feel it is better to lose a father than a mama, because they always live in love and peace with mama. Mama is often associated as the land or otherwise the milk of life, so that the Land of Papua is associated as a mama who provides the milk of life for everyone. In everyday life the role of mama is very central, especially driving the family economy, the role of mama in the lives of Papuans is important.

When faced with migrants from outside the Land of Papua who have sufficient capital with a solid network to control the real economy in the Land of Papua, one of the factors for the economic powerlessness of Papuan mothers is population migration with economic motives, which in recent decades has been quite high.

From the trend of massive migration to the Land of Papua from BPS data in 2015 shows that net migration in Papua Province is 402,395, this figure continues to increase until 2019 by 26,181 people, so that the total net migrants are 428,576 and there are five major provinces of origin of lifetime migrants who come to Papua Province from South Sulawesi 31.4%, East Java 16.7%, Central Java 11.4%, Maluku 8.5%, and East Nusa Tenggara 5.3%. Skilled migrants to Papua mostly become civil servants, some become private employees in various companies, become entrepreneurs, motorcycle taxi drivers, taxi drivers (city transportation), construction workers, and so on.

We can see the dominance of the migrant population from the proliferation of various BTN buildings and shophouses in the Jayapura City and Regency areas, but now these areas are crowded with BTN housing, shophouses, and plantations, the majority of which are dominated by migrant residents and once there were still many green trees and birds singing and now only see houses and the noise of vehicles from various directions, maybe that’s what is called globalization and modernization that we have felt in Papua in recent decades.

This helplessness for people who are not aware and understand is considered normal, but for people who are aware of the existence of OAP in general and especially Papuan Mama-mama is an injustice and neglect of basic rights in the socio-economic field.

Areca nut is a typical fruit that is grown and consumed by indigenous Papuans in daily life for generations, areca nut is a dessert after eating or in carrying out daily activities, for Papuans areca nut is a symbol of identity and brotherhood, so that this areca nut is always there and side by side with Papuans.

Almost the majority of Papuans, from children to adults, consume areca nut every day, traditional events, payment of dowry, marriage, worship, and mourning, Papuans are sure to provide areca nut as one of the special dessert menus. Areca nut has become the identity of the Papuan people, even more than that chewing areca nut for the Papuan people is a symbol and proof of love for the Land of Papua.

Areca nuts have economic value as well as very high cultural value, when talking about areca nuts, what comes to mind in general is Papuan mothers because they always sell areca nuts. However, in most markets in Jayapura City and Regency, areca nut sellers are dominated by migrants, and this poses a serious threat to Papuan mothers who have been supporting the family economy, both for children’s education, health, and household needs.

Mama who have been living from the sale of areca nuts are starting to be threatened by migrant competitors, with large enough capital the migrants managed to buy from areca nut collectors in the market sold by OAP at low prices and resold, compared to Papuan mothers who only sell with modest capital and to be rotated back with a small amount of profit.

Selling areca nuts is currently one of the sources of life for Papuans, if controlled by migrants, the level of welfare of OAP will be poor and have an impact on poverty that is difficult to control, even this phenomenon is specific for the demand for areca commodities from migrant business people, it is classified as a “monopoly” which until now is difficult to avoid.

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