The excitement about the 11th festival of pacific arts (FOPA) is mounting.
Honiara city over the past weeks and months has been busy preparing for this biggest regional cultural show.
This is the first time Solomon Islands will be hosting this important event on our shores.
As final touches are being made to the festival venue and other facilities ordinary Solomon Islanders are excited about the festival and just can’t wait to see the festival swings into action.
Since Monday overseas delegates have begun pouring into the country.
Thus, lets make welcome them with our usual friendly smiles whenever you see them around.
As a host nation we must support the delegates one way or another.
Assist them if they need help or information.
Another thing which is also important is by offering cheaper prices for some of our local products rather than overcharging them.
If we continue to overcharge them then we are not painting a good picture of this country.
Let us use this festival time which is once in a life time for this country to promote and market our country to the outside world through our kind deeds and hospitality and the natural beauty we have.
As highlighted by festival chairlady Doreen Kuper let us support and make the festival an event that will help us to bring back our once name tag the ¡®Hapi Isles,¡¯ by displaying a high degree of tolerance and observe the declaration that the Festival will be alcohol-free, smoke-free, and betel-nut free.
Its important that we show our visitors that we are peace-loving people.
This show is part of rejuvenating our once tarnish image following the ethnic crisis.
Not only that but it is the only opportunity we have had in the last forty years, to show the region and the world the natural beauty of our country Solomon Islands and the unique talents of our people expressed through our rich and diverse cultures.
Despite the negative challenges facing the festival organising committee this festival needs urgent support from everyone.
We should allow some few individuals to spoil the fun come next week.
If we have problems that should be sorted through the right process.
This festival is all about Solomon Islands and lets make it a memorable one for our regional friends.
It is also for the ordinary people of Solomon Islands and the region and a time where ordinary people will show case and share within the context of their respective cultures of various forms, shapes, and expression and to learn from each other.
As more visitors are coming into the country lets welcome them and hope their stay here gives a lasting impression of this beautiful country.