The National, Thursday 6th September, 2012
By MATHEW YAKAI
THE people of Madang will witness a double celebration from Sept 15-17.
That is the annual independence anniversary marking 37 years of Papua New Guinea’s independence and the Madang Festival.
The uniqueness of the festival is to foster and promote “unity” as part of its theme to encourage the concept of “people in diversity living in unity while celebrating and interacting using their unique traditions and cultures”.
Where else can that diversity be declared than Madang, which boasts the highest number of languages in the country.
The 2012 Madang Festival committee is already in place following the provincial government’s commitment of K250,000 to host the event.
Its first meeting was held a week ago where major activities for the festival were designated to committee members.
Major planned activities are traditional dances from Madang and other parts of the country, commercial displays by major companies, string bands and modern band display, and other events to give the visitors and Madang residents a fair treatment since the last provincial show in 2009.
Festival committee chairman Stotick Kamya said an invitation had been extended to singsing groups from other districts in Madang but they would have to meet their own transport and accommodation costs.
“We expect most traditional dancers and other categories of participants from those in the Madang Urban local level government and nearby districts due to accessibility,” Kamya said.
He said because of logistics problems and other issues, this year’s festival would not bring in dancers and participants from other districts of Madang but that did not stop them from taking part.
Kamya went on Radio Madang and appealed to residents to take part and enjoy the independence celebrations.
“Sept 16 day falls on Sunday and that’s where the official independence events will take place,” he said.
South Pacific Brewery donated K20,000 towards the festival.
The Madang Festival was formerly known as the MABORASA show but later changed to Madang Festival. The festival has not been held since 2010 because of a cholera outbreak in the country.