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Pacific: Pagopago Showcase Cultural Extravaganza

10th Festival of Pacific Arts: Pagopago showcase cultural extravaganza

American Samoa have set the pace for an explosive cultural extravaganza as the host nation for the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts with an opening ceremony combining both traditional and contemporary song and dance.

Fiji delegation government representative and Minister for Education, Culture, Heritage and the Arts Filipe Bole said it was amazing to see how refined the cultural items had become since Fiji first hosted the festival in 1972.

He added he was very proud to see the Fijian delegation perform to such high standards and looked forward to the remainder of the festival. As the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Arts Bole said it was imperative that the government keep these traditions revived for the future generations.

The Tui Macuata and delegation traditional head, Ratu Aisea Katonivere, echoed similar sentiments saying that the onus was on chiefs in Fiji to ensure that their peoples do not loose their tradition.

The four hour opening ceremony moved smoothly with each delegation performing 3 minute entertainment after their presentation of their gifts to the host nation.

Under clear skies, the first in a succession of rainy evenings, delegates clad in traditional attire filled a jam packed veterans stadium.

The Governor of American Samoa, Togiola Tulafono welcomed delegates and heads of state saying his island was prepared to host the festival and likened it to a voyaging boat adding that his people had worked day and night to prepare the boat for sailing and despite trepidation for his island to host the festival; America Samoa was ready to thread the ula (salusalu).

Mr Tulafono said with the theme of 'Su'iga'ula a le Atuvasa' - Threading the Ocean Ula - he believed the Pacific Islands was the best of God's artwork.

The festival kicks off tomorrow at 10am and will run till the 2nd of August.

ENDS

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