Kondra: Focus on our culture

Highlands, Normal

The National, Wednesday June 26th, 2013

 THE Government is serious about developing the culture and tourism industry to boost the country’s econo­my alongside the minerals and petroleum boom, a government minister said yesterday.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minis­ter Boka Kondra said in his opening speech at the first official Jiwaka Pig Festival on Monday that PNG’s rich culture could be exploited for the good of the economy.

The festival is taking place at Karkonza village, Warakar. It ends on Saturday.

“This is our pride and as the minister responsible I salute you the people of Jiwaka for reviving your culture,” Kondra said.

“When you talk about the (country’s) resources and minerals it may fade, sometimes, but the culture that we have is something that is going to be with us.”

He said culture was very important as it belonged to the people and could be promoted to the outside world.

“The Government is very serious about looking at ways to develop the culture sector (as part of tourism) because it is a sleeping giant that can move the economy.

“I believe this cultural and pig festival is timely in bringing the people of Jiwaka to celebrate it as one people, sharing similar aspirations and goals,” he said.

Kondra, who gave K100,000 to the organising committee of the event, suggested that it be celebrated annually as it displayed rich cultural elements of the province.