Papua New Guinea
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Western Province urged to promote identity

After a successful hosting of the Sel Kambang festival in Kiunga, Western Province over the Independence period, leaders are urging communities to uphold their traditions.

Western Provincial Administrator, Robert Alphonse Kaiyun is concerned that many languages and traditional dances in the province are slowly dying out, and local leaders are finding ways to preserve it.

Kaiyun said: “I want us to promote our own dynasty. If you are Yongom speak in your language, if you are Akyom speak in your language, Kiwai, Suki and etc.  I encourage you all out there to teach our young generation on our unique dances. If you don’t our singsing and dances will die out.”

North Fly District Administrator, Greg Isau, was confident with the renewed certificate of the Sel Kambang festival will bring be the preservation tool for the district and province.

“Our tumbuna ways mustn’t be forgotten. One thing I want to raise is, we need to uphold our identity,” said Isau.

One such tribal groups who performed were the Akyom (Awin) tribe with the house dance. This house dance has been practiced before opening of a new house.

The Awin tribe continue to practice this house dance in their respective villages.

The communities are aiming to continue the Sel Kambang festival annually, in a way to preserving traditional dances and singsing, and as well as continue to speak in their mother tongue or local language.