Solomons FestPAC Delegates Begin Leaving for Hawaii

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THE first of 36 participants of the Solomon Islands contingent to the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture began leaving for Hawaii on Saturday 1st June via Fiji.

Solomon Islands is sending a total of 85 participants including artists, musicians, dancers, weavers and carvers, culinary artists, videographers and officials to this year’s festival which runs from 6th – 16th June in Honolulu on the theme “Regenerating Oceania”.

The festival is the world’s largest celebration of indigenous Pacific Islanders. The South Pacific Commission (now The Pacific Community – SPC) launched this dynamic showcase of arts and culture in 1972 to halt the erosion of traditional practices through ongoing cultural exchange.

It is a vibrant and culturally enriching event celebrating the unique traditions, artistry, and diverse cultures of the Pacific region. FestPAC serves as a platform for Pacific Island nations to showcase their rich heritage and artistic talents.

The roots of FestPAC trace back to the 1970s when Pacific Island nations commenced discussion on the need to preserve and promote their unique cultural identities. The hope was to create a space where Pacific Islanders could convene to share their traditional arts, crafts, music, dance, and oral traditions with the world. This initiative was driven by the desire to strengthen cultural bonds among Pacific Island communities and foster a greater understanding of their cultures.

The inaugural Festival of Pacific Art and Culture took place in 1972 in Suva, Fiji. Over the years, FestPAC has evolved and grown in stature, becoming a highly anticipated event for both Pacific Islanders and visitors from around the world.

The festival has not only preserved traditional arts and culture but has also served as a platform for contemporary Pacific Island artists to express their creativity and address contemporary issues.

One of the festival’s most important objectives is to promote cultural exchange and understanding among the participating nations. It provides an opportunity for artists and cultural practitioners to learn from each other, share stories, and forge lasting connections. FestPAC serves as a reminder of the common heritage that binds Pacific Island nations and highlights the importance of preserving and celebrating their heritage.

Since its inception, FestPAC has been hosted by different Pacific Island nations on a rotational basis. Each host country takes on the responsibility of organizing and hosting the festival, providing a unique opportunity to showcase their own culture and hospitality. Host nations have all played a pivotal role in the festival’s success.

They have worked tirelessly to create a welcoming and vibrant atmosphere for artists and visitors alike, ensuring that FestPAC remains a foundation of cultural exchange and celebration in the Pacific.

Solomon Islands has been participating in the FestPAC since in inception in 1972 and hosted the 11th version of the festival in 2012 – hailed as one of the biggest and successful festival ever.

Source: OPMC Press

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