SI prepares for MSG arts festival - Solomon Star News


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SI prepares for MSG arts festival

17 June 2014

Solomon Islands is ready to participate at the upcoming 5th Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture in Papua New Guinea.

The festival opening ceremony will begin on June 28th in Port Moresby and will run for two weeks ending on July 11.

The Government is sending a contingent of 168 participants who will take part in various activities including Artistic Demonstrations and Exhibitions, Literary and Performing Arts, Traditional and Contemporary Dance and Music and Theatre Arts.

The Solomon Islands contingent will join other cultural groups from Melanesian States across the Pacific at the much anticipated 5th Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture (MFAC).

Papua New Guinea was nominated to host the Festival during the 4th Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture in New Caledonia in 2010 by leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG)
Port Moresby will stage the major event near the National Museum and Art Gallery, while Kokopo, Alotau, Wewak and Mt. Hagen will show performances as part of the festival.

The festival is hosted every four years by selected member countries of the Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG).  The MSG is made up of New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Papua New Guinea. 

For this festival, Papua New Guinea has extended invitations to Melanesian communities from the Torres Strait Islands, West Papua and Timor-Leste.

The theme of the festival is “Celebrating Cultural Diversity”, which highlights not only the diversity of the Melanesian cultural heritage but also that of the nation of Papua New Guinea – the largest and most diverse of all Melanesian States.

First hosted by the Solomon Islands in 1998, the Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture gradually developed into an important event for preserving, protecting and promoting Melanesian Cultures.

Director of the Culture Division of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism John Tahinao said preparations are well underway and the local contingent is looking forward to showcase and share the Solomon Islands Arts and Culture with other Melanesians during the festival.

He said the composition of the Solomon Islands contingent is made up of both old and young participants which signify the importance of trans-generational transfer of cultural knowledge from the old to the young generations of Solomon Islands.

“The transfer of cultural knowledge and practices is an important process for our country in wake of the influences and changes that are impacting on our way of lives,” Mr Tahinao said.

“Our contingent will promote our identity to world and at the same time preserve our cultural practices as we share with our other brothers and sisters from Melanesia during the festival,” he added.

The Solomon Islands contingent will leave on June 26 on a chartered Solomon Airlines flight direct to Port Moresby.

Melanesian culture is very distinct and diverse and is spread out across nations, provinces and communities in the Pacific region.