Today is Chiefs Day and a national holiday, allowing communities throughout Vanuatu to observe the day in their respective traditional ways.
The March 5, national Chiefs Day, allows the nation and communities to pay their respects to the chiefs who are the pillars of the Melanesian society of the country, on which the communities live the thrive. The theme for this year’s Chiefs Day is: Link Government and Custom Authority so they function together.
In the capital, Port Vila, Malvatumauti national council of chiefs has a program of activities at the Chief Nakamal to commemorate the day, which will be addressed by the Head of State, President Obed Moses Tallis.
The President of Malvatumauri, Chief Seni Mao Tirsupe, is inviting guests including the Head of State and the Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai, to the Chiefs Day celebration, who will start arriving at 8 am.
There will be a flag raising performed by the Vanuatu Mobile Force Band, followed by a custom ceremony in front of the Chiefs Nakamal, speeches by the President of Malvatumauri and the Head of State, a medal presentation, and refreshment.
Entertainment will consist of custom dances from all six provinces – TORBA, SANMA, PENAMA, MALAMPA, SHEFA, TAEFA and also Lycee students. The program will end around midday.
The program for Mangaliliu village on West Efate has been entrusted by the chief to the women of the village to organize, and the event will be addressed by the Vanuatu National Council of Women (VNCW) President for Shefa Province, Mrs. Leisara Kalotiti.