Like their age mates all over the world, the children of West-Papua are friendly, happy and keen to have their picture taken. On the coast they spend a lot of their free time in the water, swimming, playing in the sea, paddling canoes; in the highlands many boys carry bows and arrows, shooting birds or catch fish or crayfish in the lakes.
Like their elders, boys start wearing the traditional penis gourd from an early age and even run around playing a game of football with it, although the youngest ones may dispense with clothing altogether; little girls wear the grass skirts of an unmarried woman. In town or school western clothes may be worn but in the remote regions this seems optional.
In towns on the coast it is obvious the population has become mixed, with many Indonesian faces among the Melanesian as a result of a massive influx of transmigrants; the government tries hard to make Indonesians, loyal to the state, out of the children in school; it remains to be seen if they will succeed in the long run: the cultural difference is vast.