Vao custom dance

A group of traditional dancers from Vao performing yesterday during the opening ceremony of the 4th National Arts Festival held on Malekula.

Photo: Vanuatu National Arts Festival

The Minister of Justice and Community Service, Don Ken, yesterday asked participants of the 4th National Arts Festival held at Wilkins Stadium at Lakatoro on Malekula to ensure respect prevails throughout the week of the festival.

He stated this yesterday during the official opening of the festival as he welcomed participants from other provinces to Malampa Province.

The minister, who is from Malekula, thanked participants for bringing their cultures to display in Malampa Province.

Mr Ken called on the protection of traditional ways of preparing local food during times of disaster.

Similarly, he encouraged the continued use of local houses that can withstand cyclones.

The Minister of Justice officially declared the 4th National Arts Festival Open.

Another member of parliament from Malekula, who is currently Speaker of Parliament, Esmon Saimon in his speech, said custom and culture are part of a nation’s identity and these must be preserved.

Events Coordinator for the 4th National Arts Festival, Howard Aru, who is also a writer for this newspaper had revealed earlier that around 1,000 delegates around Vanuatu were expected to gather at the event.

This will be the first National Arts Festival to be held outside of Port Vila or Luganville, spearheaded by the national organising committee led by the Director of the Vanuatu Cultural Centre.

The festival also has support from Government, business houses, and the private sector.

Some schools such as Lycee LAB will also be participating in the festival.

For the first time, the event will be streamed live online.

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