THE Momotu youth cultural panpipe group from Isabel province will be travelling to perform in Honiara from July 1-10.
As one registered youth cultural group under the ministry of culture and Tourism, they will not participate during the Melanesian Arts & Cultural festival but see the importance of the event as they travel to witness it.
Speaking to this paper, the group leader of Momotu, Mr Chris Neo said that organising and bringing in such a group from the province is an expensive exercise in view of transportation, accommodation and meal, however, they see that culture provides important social and economic benefits as well with improved learning and health, increased tolerance, and opportunities to come together with others, culture enhances quality of life and increases overall well-being for both individuals and communities.
He said that since forming the group in 2014, their aim is to bring as well see the youths revive forgotten old traditions, songs and dances being once performed by their forefathers, mothers and grandparents in the past, in a form of panpipe.
Relating their aim with the Melanesian Arts & Cultural festival theme; “Past Recollections; Future Connections” he said that their tour is timely and reinforces the significance of this festival as a time to reminisce on their history and cultures, whilst at the same time connecting themselves as one people in diversity for a brighter connected future.
He also stated that the true spirit of their tour is sharing in unity, whereby through their recollections they are then connected together as they journey forth into the future, hoping that connectedness will contribute towards enabling them to gain new and deeper understanding with appreciation of one another’s cultures.
He adds that together they can face the future with greater courage and confidence to stand side-by-side.
One special thing about the group is that there is a gender balance in the team, compare to other cultural groups from the islands. The groups consist of 12 females and 18 males. Girls also play the instrument.
Neo said their coming to Honiara is to raise funds in aid for any future development plans for the group.
For many members, this will be their first trip to the nation’s capital.
Neo thanks the group for the support and trust they put on him despite the challenges faced to come over to Honiara. He also extends his thanks to those in any way help the Group as well.
All in all, Neo said that despite having the pride to see Honiara the importance of having pride in their identity is they believe the basis of making great decisions for their province, decisions that proves that they care and aware of who they are and the values that makes them who they are.