Solomon Islands students studying at the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Fiji celebrated the 36th Independence Anniversary with a weeklong sports and cultural activity.
The sport events started from 1st July to 5 culminated with cultural activity on Saturday featuring diverse cultures from twelve cultural groups.
Sport events included soccer, netball, touch rugby, volleyball and basketball.
It was a week of festivity for students as they took on each group with fun and joy on sport.
The highlights of the 36th Independence Anniversary was on Saturday night when fifteen cultural groups showcasing their rich cultures.
Opening the cultural show was Temotu province followed by Ma’asina, North Malaita, Guadalcanal, Western, Central province, Isabel, Lauru, Makira, Tikopia, Renbell and Solomon Islands Kiribati.
There were laughter’s and excitement among the students and families as each cultural groups performed their dances in colours of costumes such as kabilatos, grass skirts, shield, axe, powder, shell money, turmeric with an extra ordinary typical funny dancers that provide an excitement atmosphere for the audience.
The cultural events not only bring excitement of celebrating the 36th Independence anniversary but it reminds and a time of reflection for students to recognised their diverse cultures and identity as Solomon Islanders.
Chairman of the Solomon Islands student association (SISA) organising committee Steward Tonowane said every student should be proud to be a Solomon Islanders as it turns 36th today.
He said every year the country marks its birthday when its stand on its own with another parade or speeches at Lawson Tama but for the students it should be time of reflection how far everyone contribute in building the country.
He said the sport and cultural activity are just one part of celebrating the Independence but the paramount thing is for all citizens to reflect on what have done for the country.
“I remind of all as students to reflect on ourselves what we are going to contribute and do for our country after 36 years and onwards,” he said.
President of SISA Clayton Tuimaka said it was overwhelming to see students and families come together and honoured the Independence anniversary even they are not in the country.
“Our theme of celebration is Building the Fundamentals for a Stronger Government and Empowered People.
“This is a challenge and motivation for the students that after completing our studies we should return to our country and involve in decision making to build a stronger government and empower people,” he said.
Mr Tuimaka said the official celebrations for the 36th Independence celebration will be mark today.
It will begin with prayer, rising of national flag, singing of national anthem, speeches, prize presentations and feasting.