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MSG DG LEADS VISITING MACFEST DELEGATION HEADS TO PAY RESPECT TO PARAMOUNT CHIEF & PEOPLE OF IFIRA

PORT VILA, VANUATU (20 July 2023): The Director General of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat, Leonard Louma, led the 7th Melanesian Arts & Culture Festival (MACFEST) Heads of Delegations to Ifira island yesterday, the home of the customary landowners of the land in Port Vila.

The visit was to seek customary permission from Chief Teriki Paunimanu Mantoi Kalsakau III to perform ceremonies in showcasing the diversity of Melanesian culture in Vanuatu for the festivities.

“Today marks another big occasion in our cultural calendar where people of Melanesia will display their rich customs and traditions for all to see,” he stated.

MACFEST he said, is a cultural event and it is only appropriate “that we come to the landowners first to seek their permission before we carry out any activities on their land”.

DG Louma reaffirmed that, “in Melanesia, only when permission is granted can we dance and stomp on other peoples’ land. Only when authority is given can we sing and shout in their area”.

This he said, is the Melanesian way, Melanesian respect and the correct way. 

On behalf of the heads of delegations and representatives, DG Louma requested permission to allow freedom to celebrate Melanesian customs and traditions on their land.

“Allow our legs, hands and body to move freely on your land. Allow our voices to be heard and echoed throughout Ifira, Efate and the whole of Vanuatu.  

“Please do tell the spirits of Ifira, the guardians of this land, to look lovingly and kindly on us and cast their protective cover over us as we enjoy the next thirteen days of sharing and promoting our Melanesian customs and traditions,” DG Louma added.

The delegations comprised Fiji, Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) of New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Torres Strait, West Papua and staff of the MSG Secretariat.

#msg πŸ‡«πŸ‡―πŸ‡³πŸ‡¨πŸ‡΅πŸ‡¬πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡§πŸ‡»πŸ‡Ί
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#macfest2023

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