To provide visitors and residents a cultural experience highlighting indigenous Chamorro and Carolinian culture, the Marianas Visitors Authority, Carolinian Affairs Office, and Indigenous Affairs Office kicked of the Hafa Adai-Tirow Tuesdays and Thursdays cultural experience in Garapan, Saipan, last Aug. 2.
Coconut frond hats, fresh fried fish, and traditional dance were all part of opening night. The inaugural event was held from 5pm to 9pm at the CAO grounds in Garapan, Saipan, next to the Saipan lagoon and featured Chamorro and Carolinian live entertainment by musicians Ace Elameto, JJ Aguon, and Marvin Deleon Guerrero, as well as Carolinian dance groups Refaluwasch Warriors and Uraali.
Arts, crafts, and other products were demonstrated or sold by Bwiibs Merchandise, Will & Ebs Tropic Threads, Islandry670 Handmade, Bonitu Basula, Flower Pot Creations, and John Gerald Pangelinan. Food sales by Chagi Norf Kitchen and Island Snow included indigenous dishes.
“Hafa Adai-Tirow Tuesdays and Thursdays provide authentic cultural experiences for our visitors, and we are grateful to partner with the Carolinian Affairs Office and the Indigenous Affairs Office on this event, which will continue for the foreseeable future in the heart of Garapan,” said MVA managing director Priscilla M. Iakopo. “We already had tourists starting to show up on the first night and that’s wonderful. It’s one step further in the MVA’s strategic goal of promoting Chamorro and Carolinian culture to our visitors, and we anticipate that this event will grow to become something that both visitors and residents can count for a taste of local culture.”
The event returns today, Aug. 4, and an official grand opening will be held on Aug. 9. The MVA is providing funding for nightly entertainment and support with publicity, while CAO is providing manpower and logistical coordination. The event also features the CAO’s Project Liffang, where small business entrepreneurs such as local artists and craftspeople sell their local products.
For more information, contact Carolinian Affairs Office project coordinator Agatha Ketebengang at firstname.lastname@example.org or 234-6384. (MVA)