How did the Papuans view the “White people’s war”

Hi I am particularly interested in their history as I had about 4 Indonesian Papuan classmates in Flightschool. (In Lakeland, Florida).

As I am Dutch we immediately had a connection as we still use some Indonesian words. They also had some stories about cannibalism in the ancient days and getting rid of Colonizers. Also they knew some Dutch people living.

I know the Dutch and Australians history books like to emphasize the Papuans “on our side” but was that not just a minority?

Below is an interesting link where appearantly the Japanese were also seen as white people by Papuans. (We look more alike than some might think, go Papuans.

I would appreciate more info on their experience.

Calling it a “white man’s war” is extremely reductionist. When I see so-called historians say that about the World Wars, it just makes me cringe, especially when they go on a tirade about how “overrated” white men are. Racism, much?

What also didn’t help was the fact that nations like India don’t really teach their students properly on their contributions in the World Wars (I’ve seen it first-hand in 2003), which is pretty unfortunate.

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Good points. I cannot mind read but I think the researcher heard the Papuans use “White people” for all the occupiers from over the water.So their definition is different. (Disclaimer I think color is irrelevant as tons of wars have been fought for other reasons.

As for India in WW2, I had discussions with Indian people in the past on their contribution in WW1 and 2. Also I told them of the new Indian memorials. However they told me that they are not popular as they fought for “the Empire and sided with the occupiers. That point of view was completely new to me but actually understandable. Om the other hand it is still part of history so why not teach it.


Not just WWII either. Many events in post-1947 India aren’t taught properly either, at least as of 2003 when I toured a class.

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I see. My point still stands however.

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That I didn’t know actually we didn’t discuss history too much as their company didn’t like that. There still is a lot of cultural and religious tensions in India and they often spoke different languages. It is best to start about the cool rockets :rocket: of the Tippoo Sultan or someother less controversial issue.

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Not sure which historians but the Japanese went to war with everyone in the way. In view of the expansionist plans they probably would have invade other resources- rich islands. So I agree the term is reductionist.

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