Morobe urged to revive festival

The National, Friday July 8th, 2016

A LONG time member of the Morobe Culture Council has called on the provincial government to resurrect the Biang Ngayam Festival by funding it.
James Baige, the cultural officer for Tewae-Siassi district, made this call after learning that a mini Biang Ngayam Festival for children was held at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium in Lae last week.
Baige said apart from the Morobe Show the Biang Ngayam Festival was a major cultural and tourist attraction for Morobe and should be revived.
“The last time the Biang Ngayam Festival was held was in 2006,” Baige said.
“Up till now the provincial government has not allocated any funding to have this programme revived,” he said.
Baige said Morobe had a lot to offer in terms of tourism and the Biang Ngayam Festival was one such avenue to attract tourists.
Baige said the Morobe Culture Council was a legal body set up by the provincial government under former governor Luther Wenge and was responsible for all the cultural shows, performances and activities happening in the province.
“The provincial government must come out clear and tell us if there is any funding available to support the work of Morobe Culture Council,” Baige said.
The nine districts of Morobe each have a representative appointed by the district to represent them on the council board which deliberates and passes laws on all cultural activities on the province.
“We operate under the Morobe Provincial Culture Council Act,” Baige said.
He said the recent children’s Biang Ngayam Festival staged at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium in Lae was good but the organisers of that event had not sought permission and advice from the Morobe Culture Council before staging the event.
Baige said any future cultural event in the province must be scrutinised by the council and vetted before it was hosted.