BY ALFRED PAFEPITU
IT’S always bigger, better and amazing than the last. This goes for the Ijo Maringi Festival 2018, which opened in Saeragi village, west Gizo on Friday last week.
Hundreds of people within Gizo, Vella la Vella and Ranonga packed the Ijo Maringi Festival opening.
The opening ceremony saw a short demonstration on how the people of Ijo-Maringi have been killed by head-hunters from Roviana hundreds of years ago.
Being the fourth episode of the annual Ijo-Maringi Festival, this initiative, which is owned by the Saeragi House of Chiefs, is this year themed ‘Conserved culture conserves environment’.
The event involves sports, competition and ecumenical fellowship in recognition of cultural heritage and environmental conservation.
Guest of honour Western Province Speaker Adrian Sinabule speaking at the opening ceremony on Friday said the aims and objective has been premised on good management practices highlighting the need of course to be centred on Conservation based approaches, in addressing issues, surrounding our very vulnerable environment.
“Let us not forgetting to find the best way probable in nurturing our good old customs and cultural norms.
“This is an important step to shared ideas and common goals.
“It is fitting to say that the Association of Ijo Maringi Festival Communities Ridges to Reefs Conservation network has moved forward as we heard into the future and many people and organizations were involved from the start.”
Sinabule said that the Ijo Maringi festival Conservation movement is a network of people who lived up on the mountain Ridges of Gizo up there, now joining the coastal dwellers from Villages far back as New Manra/ Titiana reaching out to the South Western tip at Saeragi, Vorivori, Bibolo and Paeloge.
He said that the festival movement has extended across Vella la Vella Island and has indeed captured Eleoteve and Maravari on South easterly side of the islands.
“These are true signs that the network is growing, physically and spiritually sense Ijo people share a common interest of bondship and unity through tribal connection as a matter of fact.”