The Siwai Constituency in South Bougainville in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville will be hosting the first ever Siwai Cultural show next weekend starting on 13 August 2021.
The Member for South Bougainville and Minister for Information and Communications and Technology Honorable Timothy Masiu was excited to witness the presentation of the certificate to the committee members of the Siwai Cultural Show Committee, during the launching of the show at the National Cultural Commission Office in Port Moresby on Monday 2 August, 2021.
Minister Masiu expresses gratitude that the show will take place in his electorate and he assured everyone that the Siwai Cultural Show is going to be totally different.
“Culture is us and we belong to a culture and it is culture that cannot be taken away from us as it is our backbone.
“We have land, we have culture, if we don’t have land then we don’t have culture”.
Minister Masiu acknowledged the people who are behind in promoting culture in Siwai.
“We talk about tourism but we forget about our culture. We never thought of our people in the rural areas and such initiative will actually revive tourism in the space of culture”.
Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Honorable Isi Leonard congratulated Minister Masiu and the Siwai Cultural Show Committee for the vision and drive to making this cultural show prominent.
“The only way to promote tourism is to go local. There is no inbound tourists but we do have our local tourist,” said Minister Leonard.
He added, “there is greater potential in local tourism which was underestimated. Our Arts, cultures, songs, dances and stories are ours; we own them and this is a bonus to tourism industry in the country.
“We go local to where our people are and promote cultural events instead of taking it to the cities and towns.
“Our cultures are rich and the different hair dresses and tradition costumes define who we are and how unique and beautiful our culture is”.
He stated that the Siwai Cultural Show will be included in the National Cultural Commission annual cultural calendar so people can be aware of it and plan their visit to the next Siwai show and of course the proposed South Bougainville Show by Minister Masiu.
The Office of the National Cultural Commission made a commitment of K10 000 to support the show and the cheque will be delivered to the people of Siwai by Minister Masiu during his recent trip back to his electorate.
Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Hon. Leonard also stated that it is important to bring people to the local areas to expand income and for equal distribution of income. Therefore, we need to work together to promote tourism using culture.
“The product belongs to our people and we must never underestimate the potential of local tourism,” said Minister Leonard.
Executive Director of the National Cultural Commission Mr Steven Kilanda said tourists come into the country because of culture as it is our identity and it is worthy.
He said the National Cultural Commission looks after the cultural affairs of Papua New Guinea and culture is one important asset in the country.
“Our culture is unique diverse and powerful in the world and we must take pride and be proud of it,” said Mr Kilanda.
He said that his office is ready to work with South Bougainville to develop arts and culture in and to support the industry in the electorate.