Tuesday, June 4, 2013


THERE are few events that attract foreigners to Papua New Guinea. This is one of them. (The other will be given in the next post.)
This was reported in The National, May 27.

THE unveiling of a traditional sacred site on the shores of Alotau town, Milne Bay, accompanied by a traditional ritual on Saturday May 25 marked the launching of the 10th National Kenu and Kundu Festival.
Milne Bay Governor Titus Philemon, flanked by National Planning Minister Charles Abel and chairman of the festival, Peter Tarumuri, unveiled the stone totem of the sacred site called the Gahana to mark the launching.

The Photo: Milne Bay Governor Titus Philemon (second left, front), flanked by National Planning Minister Charles Abel (right) and chairman of the festival Peter Tarumuri, unveiling the stone totem of the sacred site called Gahana, the traditional meeting place of chiefs and village elders of clans of mainland Milne Bay.

The launch signals the start of preparations, including fundraising activities, to stage the 10th National Kenu and Kundu Festival in November.

Speaking before unveiling the totem, Philemon said the Kenu and Kundu Festival had grown from humble beginnings in 2003 to become one of the feature cultural events in PNG.
He said the success of the festival over the past 10 years had been due to the hard work of the organising committees, the commitment and support of various organisations and more importantly, the people of Milne Bay.
“It is the peacefulness of our town and province and the friendliness of our people that are the biggest assets. These are the assets that not only draw tourists from all over the globe, but also attract investments and businesses to come to Alotau and Milne Bay.
“And these are the assets that I want all of us to protect and promote. Because if we lose them, we will lose everything – our culture and heritage,” Philemon said.

Philemon also praised the decision by the festival committee to extend the festival by a day to cater for the first visit by a Carnival Australia cruise ship, Pacific Dawn, which is expected to bring some 2,500 tourists to the shores of Alotau town on Nov 4. The festival will run from Nov 1-4.
Philemon presented K60,000 to the festival committee as part of the provincial government’s support. Another K40,000 will be released to the committee later on.

He said this was on top of the K100,000 already given to the Milne Bay Tourism Bureau to undertake awareness and training for the cruise tourism project, expected to rake in about K7 million per year for Milne Bay.

Abel said the National Government was strongly supporting Milne Bay in the drive to grow and enhance its tourism industry.

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