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THE JET ONLINE - FIJI COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
Good start!" That was the comment from the Minister of Education Mr. Filipe Bole after the Fijian delegation to the 11th Pacific Festival of the Arts was accorded a traditional welcome by the Fiji community in Honiara last Saturday (30/06/12).
"For us, you know it was just like coming home. They have prepared the reception very well. They made the arrival here more like a home arrival", Minister Bole said. The 120 plus delegation from Fiji was treated to a reception by local Fijians who are a mix of families that have been in the Solomon Islands for many years, and those who have come over more recently from Fiji pursuing employment opportunities with the Solomon Island government and regional organisations.
Mr Bole said the traditional reception was just what was needed, and to put the Fiji delegation in the right frame of mind before the official launch today. "It's a very good start that we have been normalised into the situation so that when it (official opening) comes we will feel comfortable and are ready to commence in a proper fashion." Speaking to the local Fijians on Saturday night, Minister Bole said that his approach to this year's festival was to focus on Fiji's youth, ensuring that young people are playing an active role in the preservation and sharing of their culture.
The need for this approach was demonstrated to Mr Bole on a recent tour of the northern division where a performance by Rabi high school really impressed the Minister. This has also been reflected in performances by the National Youth Band which has been promoting Fiji at various cultural and tourism exchanges around the globe. The Fiji contingent headed by the Honorable Minister comprise 15 students from Rabi High School, the Itumua dance group of Rotuma, the Vou contemporary dance group, practitioners of various traditional craft, and a team of officials who will support Mr. Bole at the meeting of Ministers of Culture which will be held during the next two weeks.