Most of Palau’s 177-member delegation to the Festival of the Pacific Arts (FestPac) is set to leave for Guam Thursday. morning, ready to participate in the biggest cultural event in the region.
The 12th running of the largest cultural event in the Pacific region will begin on 22 May and continue for two-weeks until the curtain closes on 4 June. Palau’s delegation is due to return a day early on Friday, 3 June.
Team Palau women's dancers in their last public rehearsal before leaving for Guam. Photo: Ongerung Kambes Kesolei
The Festival of Pacific Arts is a festival rotated every four years by different host island countries and territories in the Pacific region. It was conceived as a means to stem erosion of traditional cultural practices by sharing and exchanging culture at each festival.
Palau’s team will join a gathering of more than 2,500 practitioners of traditional arts in various disciplines including performance, visual, and literary arts.
A traditional welcoming ceremony with a flotilla of traditional sailing canoes guided by seafarers from several islands in the Micronesian region will take place early morning on May 22 followed by an opening ceremony at 5:00 pm at the main event location at Paseo de Susana in Hagatna.
Alingano Maisu skippered by Sesario Sewralur which left Palau on March 15 on its journey to Guam for the festival will be part of the sailing convoy.
Palau’s delegation will be accommodated at George Washington High School, joining FSM and Wallis and Futuna in the same housing village.
Minster of Community and Cultural Affairs Baklai Temengil announced at the last FestPac meeting on May 16, that Palau will be paired with the village of Inarajan, and Guam Police Department will serve as Palau’s sister agency.
Palau’s artists and artisans will participate in various genre, including the
• Traditional arts — carving, canoe and navigation, weaving, culinary arts, oratory, indigenous language and fashion.
• Visual arts — traditional contemporary paintings and photography.
• Performing arts — traditional and contemporary song, dance and chants.
Members of the Palau team will also participate in several fora, seminars and workshops.
Participating islands expected at the festival includes, American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Easter Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk, Northern Mariana Islands, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna. Taiwan is not a member country but will be taking part in the cultural show.