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Celebrating culture, language and the arts in the Pacific

Artists represent the arts and culture of American Samoa Artists represent the arts and culture of Tahiti Artists represent the arts and culture of American Samoa (left) and Tahiti (right)

(July 2012) SIL staff have been invited to participate in a special event celebrating the diverse cultures of the Pacific islands. The 11th Festival of Pacific Arts (FOPA) is being hosted by the Solomon Islands 1-14 July. The main events are taking place in the capital city, Honiara, with additional events hosted at satellite locations around the country.

Culture in Harmony with Nature

Every four years, FOPA draws artists, government officials, community leaders and other participants from across the region. The theme for this year’s FOPA event is “Culture in Harmony with Nature.” Artists and cultural practitioners from twenty-five Pacific island countries and territories are participating. Festival attendees have the opportunity to experience a variety of art forms, both new and traditional. Featured art forms include:

Throughout the festival, expert practitioners will demonstrate traditional skills such as navigation. Traditional items including handicrafts and currencies will be on display.

At SIL’s “Languages of the Pacific” display, a woman is pleased to find a literacy booklet in the language of her home area. At SIL’s “Languages of the Pacific” display, a woman is pleased to find a literacy booklet in the language of her home area.

SIL has contributed a display entitled “Languages of the Pacific,” which features information about language development and highlights the value of local languages. The display is housed at the Solomon Islands National Museum. SIL personnel are also on hand to orchestrate daily activities to spark interest in the region’s languages.

In cooperation with a partner organization, a group of university students have joined SIL staff at FOPA. Some of the students are helping to lead four half-day workshops, demonstrating what they learned in a seminar entitled “Arts for a Better Future.” Other students are supporting the Languages of the Pacific display by collecting information on the many languages represented at the festival.


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