THE theme of the 6th Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival, “Past recollections, Future connections” set the scene for a new direction for Melanesian countries at the event his year.
Over the ten days of the festival, there were opportunities to pay tribute to Melanesian history by reminiscing on the experiences of the epic journey from the past to the present.
The Governor General of Solomon Islands, Sir Frank Kabui, said in his speech during the festival opening that participants must celebrate and take pride in their cultures and arts because these were defining aspects of Melanesian identity.
“Our past must be the platform of pride that we stand on today and must be our illiterates to create our future,” he said.
“Let us use the 6th Melanesian arts and culture festival as an avenue to reconnect, revive and renew our commitments through our societies, our people and to our cultures.”
Sir Kabui said Melanesians had come a long way from the beginning of their existence, despite many challenges to their identity and culture.
People must be steadfast in embracing their Melanesian cultures for their children and children’s children.
He advised exercising resilience to the pressures of cultural change and modification through commitments to preserve.
“Artistically, we must be innovative and creative within the bonds of our cultures and traditions.
“We must allow our past to improve our present and our present to determine our future,” Sir Kabui said.