Cultural groups from Melanesian States all across the Pacific will be visiting Papua New Guinea this 2014 to participate in the much anticipated 5th Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture (MFAC).
It was during the 4th Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture in New Caledonia that the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) agreed Papua New Guinea would host the next festival.
The festival will be a two-week long affair from 28th June - 11th July. 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 National Cultural Commission through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture will be coordinating the event.
The festival is hosted every four years by selected member countries of the Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG). The MSG is made up of the following Melanesian States: New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
However, for this 2014 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.
Melanesian culture is very distinct and diverse and is spread out across nations, provinces and communities in the Pacific region.
The Melanesian Island Countries in the Western Pacific, surrounded by the vast blue Pacific Ocean have Cultural Heritage, which is diverse. The Melanesian people's cultural heritage is distinct. It distinguishes them from other people and their cultures. Their cultural heritage is their Identity, strength and can shape their destiny. It is celebrated to enhance mutual understanding, cooperation and appreciation of one another's Art and Culture in Melanesia. Seeking Papua New Guineans, Fijians, Solomon Islanders, Ni Vanuatu and New Caledonians, especially the Kanaks, speaks volumes of Melanesia, its ways, its arts and its culture. The diverse Cultures of Melanesians were original and intact but due to outside influences, our Cultures and livelihood that depended on them gradually eroded. The Concerns raised for the need to protect and promote the diverse cultures and arts of the Melanesian people showed cause in which the Melanesian Island States through its forum, the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) came together to celebrate its rich and diverse cultural heritage. As a result the leaders decided to have Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture celebrating cultural diversity.
Many events are offered, check the National Museum and Art gallery website for program.
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