The two weeks of arts and cultural extravaganza was unveiled over the weekend when the 5th Melanesian Festival of arts and culture was opened on Saturday.
The opening ceremony was staged at the Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby.
The two weeks will feature cultural performances and artistic exhibitions from participants from all over Melanesia.
At the opening on Saturday participants from Fiji, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, West Papua, and East Timor together with their hosts marched through the City of Port Moresby-highlighting the richness of Melanesian cultures before the festival opening by the PNG Governor General Sir Michael Ogio, which was also attended by Prime Minister Peter O’Neil and other MSG ministers and dignitaries.
Vanuatu and the Torres Straight Islanders of Australia will join the festival later in the week.
Solomon Islands was represented at the opening ceremony by the minister of culture and tourism Samuel Manetoali, head of delegation and permanent secretary John Wasi, our Papua New Guinea based High Commissioner William Haomae and Fiji based High Commissioner Patterson Oti.
The opening ceremony was filled with vibrant cultural and musical performances from participants as PNG used the event to showcase its rich cultural diversity of 800 distinct languages from 22 provinces.
The Solomon Islands delegation presented a gift of shell money at the ceremony to Sir Michael Ogio to signify the country’s appreciation towards the host country.
The Government has sent a strong 168 member delegation to represent the country.
They will participate in various activities including cultural and music performances, arts exhibitions including painting, weaving, carving, shell money making, fireworks and theatre performance and fashion design over the next two weeks.
The festival will officially close on July 11.