Festivals & Shows


By Eagleye Papua New Guinean Culture is not static – it is changing everyday hence every effort is required to preserve, promote and safeguard it. The gradual change of culture, according to our envoy to Japan Sam Abal, is already a threat to efforts by organizations like National Cultural Commission that are mandated to ensure our cultural heritage is preserved, promoted and safeguarded at all times. “Our biggest danger and the counter force is the younger generation – that force is changing our culture,” Ambassador Abal said. The diplomat made these remarks during a visit to the National Cultural Commission head office in Port Moresby on February 11. He was given an overview of the work NCC had been doing, the challenges and the achievements likewise. Ambassador Abal heaped praise on NCC for overcoming the odds and ensuring the mandate of the commission is carried out. He said he was impressed with NCC going rural and local to set up cultural festivals and cultural centers for rural villages and communities. “We have to make that cultural impact and put it into perspective. We have to make that impact on young leaders in Parliament,” he said adding that most of our young parliamentarians “are still very far from their people”. He added: “We have to ask ourselves where we are from, on who’s land are we standing. Until we seriously answer these questions, we will appreciate more our culture and perhaps give it more attention. “Papua New Guinea is so diverse and rich in culture. But our country is not well organized yet. We still have yet to realize the full potential of our culture – that’s why culture is last in budget priority,” the former parliamentarian said. He said he would ask the Japanese Ambassador to PNG to visit National Cultural Commission for a similar presentation so he can see and hear for himself the extent of work NCC has been doing in the recent past years. He said he was certain that the Japanese embassy and other diplomatic missions would be interested to assist the work of NCC in any capacity they see fit but challenged the commission to invite and or visit missions and embassies. Ambassador Abal offered to assist NCC to secure some of these proposed appointments with the diplomatic community in the country.


The new Minister for Tourism Arts and Culture Isi Hendry Leonard wants tourism made simple and people-oriented. He stressed this during a hand-over-take-over ceremony in Port Moresby this week that every cultural festival must be made simple and taken back to the people to participate. “I want us to make it simple and allow participation of the people,” he said. Leonard is Member for Samarai Murua electorate in the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea and he is a first-time Minister. He became more impressed when he learned that the National Cultural Commission (NCC) had already developed the concept of bringing back culture to the people at community level. Both the new Minister and the executive director of NCC Steven Kilanda are confident they will work harmoniously in the coming months under the theme: “Connecting with Community”, which already is put into motion by NCC, which has already gone to the remotest of places like Nete Lyaim in the Porgera area of Enga Province, Yandara village in Bundi, Madang Province, Gimi village in the west Okapa area of Eastern Highlands Province and Bali Island in West New Britain. Meanwhile, Minister Leonard thanked his outgoing colleague, Walter Schnaubelt, for the heads-up and vowed to “pursue and take on where you (Schnaubelt) left”. Schnaubelt, who is now the Minister for Forest, had asked Leonard to continue with some of the projects he had embarked on during the three months he was in charge. He said a technical working committee he had established to provide advice on how to go forward must be maintained. He said he had ensured the three agencies under the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture worked together unlike in the past and asked Minister Leonard to ensure that continues under his watch. Minister Schnaubelt also asked his colleague to support moves to review the Tourism Promotion Authority Act of 1993, and further ensure that a new Board for the Authority is appointed. “Advertisements are already out so please see to it and decide on the appointment of a new board for TPA (Tourism Promotion Authority),” he said. He also asked if the major festivals in the country could be featured in a more coordinated manner to ensure tourists get the opportunity to spend more and enough time to see the festivals spread across the country, hence appreciate the true spirit of Papua New Guinean culture and hospitality. The new Minister was also asked to ensure commitments made to the National Film Institute and the Raun Raun Theatre be honoured. “I made a commitment to support each of the institutions with a vehicle each….please continue lending that support,” Minister Schnaubelt said. Both the National Film Institute and the Raun Raun Theatre come under the National Cultural Commission. Ends.


People from Kompiam-Ambum District in Enga Provine turned up in numbers at Londol village to participate and witness the Mali Festival. Mali is a traditional festival long practiced by the different tribes including Tee, Wamera, and Kupupin. The last time they celebrated Mali was 25 years ago. Under the leadership of a Mr. Jerry Mara and the respective chiefs and leaders, Mali Festival was staged in January witnessed by the executive director of the National Cultural Commission, Steven Kilanda and First Secretary to the Minister for Tourism Arts and Culture, Elijah Tapie. Mr. Tapie said the need to promote domestic tourism and the idea of hosting cultural festival at the local or village level because this is where the people practice their cultures and traditions. Mr. Kilanda said the significance of preserving and practicing culture was one way of bringing different tribes and clans together to create peace and order in the community. He said through such events, people can be able to develop products to sell to tourists and also bring tourists right down to the village and get them to appreciate the unique cultures and traditions of PNG. Mr. Kilanda made a commitment of K10, 000.00 to the Londol Mali Festival committee to build a cultural center and urged them to register their groups with the NCC so they can be fitted on the events calendar that would lead to a potential tourism product. Ends.
Cultural Events

KOMO HELA FESTIVAL 17 th - 19th December, 2020

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