Melanesian Arts Festival, Fiji

Fiji is to host the 2006 Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival. The concept for such a festival originated at the 1995 meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead, a regional grouping which includes Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea. New Caledonia has observer status at the Melanesian Spearhead Group and also participates in the festivals. The first Melanesian Arts Festival was held in the Solomon Islands in 1998, followed by a second in Vanuatu in 2002.

The third festival will begin in Suva on October 2nd and run for one week until Fiji Day on October 10th. This will be the first Melanesian Arts Festival with representation from other countries with large Melanesian populations, including Australia, West Papua, and Timor Leste. The theme is to be "Living Culture and Living Traditions." Anyone interested in attending this spectacular event should make their hotel reservations soon.

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