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    Tuesday, December 11, 2018-1:12:45A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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International Festival of Cultures pushes through

(MVA) — Despite the cancellation of the first day of festivities due to inclement weather, the 4th Annual International Festival of Cultures in the Marianas pushed through on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 22-23,  in Saipan.

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The Japanese community models traditional “kimono” at the 4th  Annual International Festival of Cultures on Sept. 22, 2018. The  community of Samoa, Fiji, and Cook Islands prepares to perform at the 4th Annual International Festival of Cultures on Sept. 22, 2018.
Frances Sablan of the Chamorro community weaves coconut fronds at the 4th Annual International Festival of Cultures on Sept. 22, 2018. Tokie Mojica of the Marshallese community sells handicrafts and jewelry at the 4th Annual International Festival of Cultures on Sept. 22, 2018.  MVA photos

A small but colorfully clad group of cultures kicked off the festivities with the Parade of Cultures on Saturday at 5 p.m. 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 on-stage 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, 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.