Festival of Cultures pushes through


Despite the cancellation of the first day of festivities due to inclement weather, the 4th Annual International Festival of Cultures pushed through on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 22 and 23.

A small but colorfully-clad group of cultures kicked off the festivities with the Parade of Cultures on Saturday at 5pm from the Carolinian Affairs Office to the festival venue at Paseo de Marianas.

Walking delegations were the representative groups of the Marianas, Japan, Korea, Federated States of Micronesia, the Philippines, Africa, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Palau, and the Bangladesh community. The parade was followed by a fashion show onstage and a full night of entertainment.

“Despite the rain, it was a successful International Festival of Cultures,” said MVA Community Projects coordinator Demalynn Pagarao, lead organizer for the event. “It takes a lot of time, resources, and people for each of the groups to share their culture, and we extend a big si yu’use ma’ase, ghilisou, and thank you to all of them. The costumes, the food, the dances, the games, and many other aspects shared was a great opportunity for the community to enjoy and appreciate the cultural diversity of the Marianas. We look forward to next year’s celebration.”

The festival featured ethnic food, hands-on cultural demonstrations, games, ethnic attire, arts and crafts, and more. Participating communities were the Marianas, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Marshall Islands, Hawaii, Tonga/Fiji/Samoa, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Korea, Japan, and Africa.

Additional supporters were from the Indigenous Affairs Office, 500 Sails, Department of Public Safety, Department of Public Works, Carolinian Affairs Office, Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Department of Land and Natural Resources, and Bureau of Environmental Health. (MVA)

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