TPA backs major cultural events

Weekender
The Asaro mudmen are a famous feature of the Goroka Show.
COVER STORY

By MALUM NALU
TWO major cultural events, the popular Goroka Show in Eastern Highlands and the Kutubu Kundu and Digaso Festival in Southern Highlands, will be staged this month.
The 63rd annual Goroka Show will be held from Sept 13-15 while the ninth Kundu and Digaso Festival will be held in Kutubu from Sept 19-21.
Both events have received a shot in the arm with K100, 000 each from PNG Tourism Promotion Authority.
PNGTPA chief executive officer Jerry Agus presented the money to Goroka Show chairlady Keryn Hargreaves and Kundu and Digaso Festival organiser Saina Jeffrey Philyara.
He presented the money on behalf of the Government of Papua New Guinea, and especially the Minister for Tourism Emil Tammur, to Hargreaves and Philyara.
Agus said cultural events such as the Goroka Show and the Kundu and Digaso Festival were a major tourism drawcard for the country every year.
Goroka Show is one of the biggest shows in the country and a major attraction for tourists,” he said.
“As we know, there are a lot of attractions that make tourists come to Papua New Guinea including diving, surfing, trekking, bird watching and so many other products.
“One of the major competitive advantages that we have over other destinations, like Fiji and Bali, is our culture.
“I think Goroka, for the last 63 years without fail, has been delivering Goroka Show.”
The Eastern Highlands capital is gearing up for another blockbuster.
“Goroka Show is starting on Sept 13 with the Pikinini Festival, which is an event that we started five years ago and is increasing in popularity, especially with our tourists,” Hargreaves said.
“That will be the first event.
“Saturday and Sunday (Sept 14 and 15) will be the traditional singsing groups, 150 in all that we’re expecting from as far as the Sepik provinces to the Southern Highlands.
“We’ve got the whole of Papua New Guinea coming to the Goroka Show over the course of the three days.
“Preparations are well underway, sponsors’ stalls are near completion.
“We’re thankful for all our sponsors that have been supporting the show for the last 63 years, as well as my working committee and volunteers.
“It’s a big event which takes a lot of organising.
“I’d like to say a big thank you to the provincial government for supporting us.
“We look forward to the 63rd Goroka Show.”
Philyara said organisers of the Kundu and Digaso Festival expected more than 20 international tourists at the event.
“Many have already done their own bookings, logistics and transport to get up to Kutubu,” she said.
“We would like to welcome everybody.
“Kutubu is a remote area of Southern Highlands which is a very good place, with peaceful people, and you will enjoy the best.
“You will not regret being with the Kutubu people by being part of the festival.
“It’s going to be a memorable experience for anyone who attends.”
Agus, himself a Southern Highlander, said the festival was a breath of fresh air amongst so much negativity emanating from the province.
“I think there are more positive things happening in Southern Highlands, and one of these is the delivery of the Kutubu Kundu and Digaso Festival,” he said.
“I think you have delivered that successfully over the last eight times, with this year being the ninth festival.
“On behalf of the Government, and the minister (Tammur), we are pleased and excited about the good work that you have done in Southern Highlands, especially through the festival.”
September promises to be a big tourism month for PNG, especially with the Goroka Show and the Kutubu Kundu and Digaso Festival.

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