Solomon Islands' biggest Trade and Cultural show now underway in Honiara
If there’s a time tourists and travellers would want to see and be part of Solomon Islands culture in one place, it would be this week. Solomon Islands is running its annual Trade and Cultural show as of Tuesday, July 6th to the 11th with the promoting theme, Tolerance and Co-existence in nature, culture and commerce”. Honiara’s town ground is once again alight with more than 60 locally thatched stalls promoting local products, services available in Solomon Islands including the display of various traditional artifacts only known to have been made in Solomon Islands and various raw products from its forest and marine resources.
The one event tourists are here again to witness, as they have done in the past years prior to 1999 is the cultural performances from a diverse population as that of Solomon Islands.
They include bare-chested warriors from Malaita, Guadalcanal, Choiseul, Isabel to name a few in their traditional costumes performing sacred dances only seen during pagan years, the hip swaying girls from Kiribati who are now part of Solomon Islands population, the Polynesian enactment of the war canoes used hundreds of years ago and the production of traditional money used in bride price ceremonies and a host of traditional activities and performances by women from various ethnic groupings in the country.
Feet-thumping Tikopians and fast dancing from Lord Howe and Sikaiana dancers, coordinated drum beating from Malaita as well as the now popular panpipes and bamboo bands.
Contemporary dance bands with a mixture of Tamure dances to Polynesian traditional chants and songs will also be performed during the week.
This year’s cultural show will be an important one to Solomon Islands because any winning traditional performing group will represent Solomon islands at an Exposition in Japan next year.
Cultural show day is on Wednesday and the days after and many Solomon islanders and tourists are planning their day out to watch the performances.
The events start early each day until late at night with different activities put in place to reflect the composition of Solomon Islands Society. The 2004 Trade and Cultural was opened Tuesday by the country’s Governor General Sir John Ini Lapli. Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza delivered the keynote address following a colourful float from the eastern part of the Capital Honiara to the show ground accompanied by drums beaters, panpipers and various traditionally-dressed groups.
Sir Allan hailed the show as one giving significance of the existence of Solomon Islands, a country so diverse in culture, race, islands and language, but all the same, it needs the respect and understanding of all the people calling themselves Solomon Islanders.
Chairman of 2004 Trade and Cultural Show, Douglas Strahan holds high hopes that the show will once again bring people together as it had achieved in the past.
“This would be a revival of a great event which had for the past years won the hearts of not only Solomon Islanders but tourists from abroad until it was suspended four years ago because of the ethnic unrest. I hope the same enthusiasm will remain this year”, said Strahan.
Tourists mainly from Australia and New Zealand and a few from the US have started arriving in Honiara for the week-long festival.
Speaking to e-turbonews Solomon Islands, a number of Australian tourists came to Honiara purposely to see the cultural shows and are planning to spend the whole week.
The show is an annual event and is planned to coincide with the country’s Independence anniversary on July 7 and is growing bigger each year.
Author: Charles Kereau