Papua New Guinea
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Culture enriched at Vanuatu festival

The 7th Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival came alive with vibrant cultural displays as Papua New Guinean cultural ambassadors from West New Britain observed the ancient protocols of their ancestors, the Tumbuans.

In an awe-inspiring ceremony at the Saralana festival arena, starting as early as 5 am, the Tumbuans purified the grounds before showcasing their rich cultural heritage through mesmerizing songs and dances.

Led by Minister for Tourism Arts and Culture, Isi Henry Leonard, the WNB performers took centre stage in a captivating procession.

Minister Leonard emphasized the uniqueness and significance of Melanesian cultural heritage, urging everyone to cherish, protect, and promote it for future generations.

"Let’s mingle together in unity and diversity of our cultures and forge relationships through our cultures," Minister Leonard passionately expressed.

Addressing leaders from all Melanesian Island states, Minister Leonard called for a collective effort in safeguarding their respective cultural heritage at all levels.

He highlighted the festival as an exceptional opportunity for all Melanesians to reflect on their connections with fellow islanders, their cultures, and the environment, encouraging them to utilize these bonds for mutual benefit.

Minister Leonard, along with the head of the PNG cultural contingent and National Cultural Commission executive director, Steven Kilanda, and NCC Board members, Prof. Leo Marai and Dr. Michael Mel, will remain in Vanuatu for the festival's entire duration.

The festival has become a testament to the richness and diversity of Melanesian cultures, fostering mutual understanding, appreciation, and cooperation among the different island nations.