A special event occurs every four years called the Festival of Pacific Arts, where over 27 South Pacific nations gather to share their culture and develop friendships. The festival lasts for approximately two weeks and is filled with events from morning till night at different venues. There are over 2500 participants and many of the countries have competitions in advance to be sure they are represented by their best performers. There is no “competition” as the focus is on the celebrating and sharing of each other’s cultures. This year’s theme will be Culture in Harmony with Nature.
The festival is held in the summer, when school is out, as the local villages are responsible for the housing and feeding of participating delegations. This opportunity allows for sharing hospitality and cultural interactions between the locals and visiting countries.
Amy Taniguchi, a retired Hawai‘i schoolteacher, has been to four festivals in Samoa, New Caledonia, Palau and Western Samoa with Pacific Islands Institute who has been taking visitors to the festivals since 1992. This year’s program begins in Brisbane, Australia on June 28th. For more information, call 808-732-1999 or visit ExplorethePacific.com.