The Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival was a first for Kue mi, a Taiwanese who has lived in Honiara since 2016.
“I am very impressed by the scale of this event and the seriousness of the organisers and the participants,” she told Solomon Women.
“It is eye-opening for someone who is not a Melanesian. I have seen many dances and concerts from different countries, fashion shows, handcraft displays and art exhibitions, and it is a pity that I could not attend some of the other activities.
“This festival is rich, educational and exciting for me. Inside the same big Melanesian culture, you can see each country and each island still displays its uniqueness whether via dances, dresses or languages.”
Kue mi said that the Melanesian language was very important.
“Language is an identity and your mother tongue indicates your roots and your origins. I think it’s an obligation to keep and protect the mother tongues especially for the languages that are endangered.”
Kue mi said that in Taiwan in addition to Mandarin, Taiwanese and English, the indigenous people should also learn mother tongue at school.
“No matter where you are from, to promote your culture you must first feel proud of it and try to understand it,” she said.
Kue mi was among those who participated from the first until the last day of the festival.
“Melanesian culture is so diverse, unique and alive; each individual inside this culture group should feel proud of it and try to pass the ancestral knowledge, wisdom and language to the next generation,” she said.