CULTURAL groups from throughout the country converged on the Sir John Guise stadium yesterday to kick-start Papua New Guinea’s 35th independence anniversary celebrations in the National Capital District.
NCD Governor Powes Parkop opened the three-day event.
Yesterday’s other events included musical performances by various artistes and dances by various Pacific Island groups.
Events coordinator Nebros Duin said City Hall allocated K600,000 for this year’s celebrations.
Parkop began his address yesterday with the question: “Can we lift our nation?”
He said 35 years might be considered “still young, but it is worthy to note that many post-colonial states like South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and India have seen economic and social development take off 35 or 50 years after political independence”.
“On our 35th independence anniversary, we must challenge ourselves to emulate our neighbours and experience that social and economic take-off in the lives of our people and nation.
“If we ensure there are quality leadership and good management of our resources, coupled with good positive attitudes of our people, we can achieve what is a dream today.
“If we change our city and make it a model, the whole nation will rise up and follow our example,” Parkop said.
Different activities will continue tomorrow at the stadium and Jack Pidik Park simultaneously.
The University of PNG is also having its own celebrations at the Waigani and Taurama campuses.