PAPUA New Guinea is well advanced in preparation to march on to the performance arenas in Agatna, Guam to display its unique arts and cultures next year.
Festival of the Pacific Arts for the 12th time is being organised and preparations are underway as the Government and the people of Guam anticipating the good turnout.
In fact the Festival of the Pacific Arts is held every four years since 1972. It brings together artists and cultural practitioners from around the Pacific region for two weeks for the festivity. It is recognized as a major regional cultural event, and is the largest gathering in which Pacific peoples unite to enhance their respect and appreciation of one another.
The idea of a Festival of Pacific Arts was conceived by the Conference of the South Pacific Commission (now the Secretariat of the Pacific Community - SPC) in an attempt to combat the erosion of traditional customary practices. Since 1972, delegations from 27 Pacific Island Nations and Territories have come together to share and exchange their cultures at each Festival of Pacific Arts. A delegation of 2,500 performers, artists and cultural practitioners are expected, in addition to thousands of visitors from Asia and festival followers who see to it they are part of the festival every four years.
The 27 Pacific Island Countries and Territories expected at the festival include American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Easter Island, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji Islands, French Polynesia, Guam (2016 Host), Hawaii, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna.
Guam made its bid to host the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts and was awarded this distinction at the 10th Festival held in American Samoa, in 2008.
It was during the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts held in the Solomon Islands, July 2012, where Guam officially received the festival flag. The 2016 festival is Guam’s opportunity to showcase its unique Chamorro culture that has survived colonization of the past and modernization of the present.
At the moment the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts is being planned to be hosted in the Micronesian Island State of Guam from May 22 – June 04, 2016. It is going to be two (2) weeks of cultural festivities. It will be hosted by the Government and corporate community of Guam for the participating countries and visitors throughout the 14 days. Twenty-Five (25) countries of the Pacific are expected to participate in this 12th Festival of Pacific Arts. Papua New Guinea is one of those participating countries and territories.
A contingent of about 170 participants from Papua New Guinea is expected to participate at the festival in Literary Arts in involving traditional storytelling, publications, history, theatre, fashion and indigenous language. The participants also take part in Demonstrations/Exhibitions such as visual arts, floral arts, culinary arts, canoe and navigation, children’s art show, photography, tattooing, traditional healing, body ornamentation, carving works, black smithing, handicrafts, film festival, traditional game, fire walking, weaving, music, fishing and hunting traditions, Forums, Workshops and Seminars.
And as part of preparation the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts PNG Organising Committee headed by the National Cultural Commission (NCC) among other things is organising a festival launching dinner at the Dynasty Restaurant at the Vision City Mega Mall.
The launching dinner is scheduled on November 13, 2015 and an individual ticket is K500 while a corporate sponsor is K5, 000 for a table.
There will be lots of speeches, entertainments from both contemporary and traditional cultural groups spicing up with lots of food and drinks. The program starts at 7PM.