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Port Vila, VANUATU -- During the closing ceremony of the Melanesian Arts & Culture Festival 2023 (7MACFEST) held in Port Vila on Sunday, July 30th, Director for Heritage, Collin Sowani Yabaki, speaking on behalf of the Minister for iTaukei Affairs, Culture and Heritage Hon. Ifereimi Vasu and the Fiji Contingent, expressed his excitement about Fiji being chosen as the host country for the 2026 Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival.
He stated that Fiji is honored to be selected as the host of this significant event for the Melanesian community in 2026 and emphasized that Fiji intends to highlight its abundant cultural diversity and history, following the example set by Vanuatu this year.
Director Yabaki stressed the importance of regionalism and cooperation in Melanesia, as showcased by this year's theme of "Rebuilding My Melanesian for Common Identity."
“The importance of regionalism and cooperation within Melanesia cannot be overstated. It is crucial for economic development, security, cultural preservation, and social integration,” the Director said.
“Indeed, passing on customs and traditional culture to the younger generation is of paramount importance. Culture serves as the foundation of a society's identity, shaping its values, beliefs, and practices,” said the Director.
"Nonetheless, the 2026 MACFEST will include various events such as the Melanesian Arts and Festival Symposium, Melanesian Music Festival, and the Melanesian Pageant," he added. 
Director Yabaki expressed confidence in Fiji's ability to match and sustain the high standards set by Vanuatu.
"We are grateful to the people of Vanuatu for their hospitality, love, and generosity during this year's festival," adds Director Yabaki.

He concluded by saying that Fiji looks forward to welcoming the Melanesian family to Fiji in 2026 and creating unforgettable memories together.
The Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival (MACFEST) is a series of events held in various Melanesian countries to celebrate and promote the rich cultural heritage of the region.
The festival has a unique theme for each edition, which mirrors the Melanesian people's values, dreams, and challenges.

 #FijiGovernment #FijiNews #CoalitionGovernment #TeamFiji #7MACFEST #Vanuatu

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