PNG PM Marape Touches PM Modi’s Feet Symbol of Respect and Humility in Papua New Guinea

May 21, 2023, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Papua New Guinea witnessed a remarkable display of cultural tradition and respect as Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape personally greeted him by touching his feet upon arrival. This gesture, deeply rooted in Papua New Guinea’s cultural heritage, signifies profound respect, humility, friendship, and a demonstration of the country’s strong Christian faith.

In traditional Papua New Guinean culture, touching someone’s feet is a customary way to show respect, particularly to someone special or in a position of authority. It goes beyond a mere display of reverence and symbolizes the host’s humility in welcoming an esteemed guest. By touching the feet of Prime Minister Modi, Prime Minister Marape not only paid homage to the Indian leader but also conveyed his profound admiration and deference.

The act of washing someone’s feet, akin to the biblical story of Jesus humbly washing the feet of his disciples, is also evoked in this cultural tradition. The connection to the Christian faith further emphasizes the significance of humility and service to others. By performing this gesture, Prime Minister Marape expressed his deep understanding of the Christian values shared by the people of Papua New Guinea.

Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Papua New Guinea marks a historic occasion as he becomes the first Indian Prime Minister to set foot in the country. The purpose of his visit is to attend the FIPIC (Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation) Summit, which brings together leaders from 14 countries to strengthen regional cooperation and foster diplomatic ties.

Following his visit to Papua New Guinea, Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to travel to Australia, where he will engage in discussions with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. The Australian government acknowledges the significant Indian community residing in Harris Park, emphasizing the growing connections between India and G7 member nations following the recent summit.

The touching of feet between Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Marape signifies the deep understanding, respect, and friendship that the people of Papua New Guinea have for the people of India. It serves as a symbol of respect for a friend and the humility of the host nation.

This culturally rich gesture will undoubtedly strengthen the bond between the two nations and further enhance diplomatic relations in the years to come.

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