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Indonesia to participate in Melanesian art festival MACFEST in Vanuatu

Indonesia will take part in the 7th Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival (MACFEST) in Port Vila, Vanuatu, from July 25 to 30, 2023, according to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology.

The ministry's Director-General of Culture, Hilmar Farid, stated that Indonesia will present its Papuan and East Nusa Tenggara artists during the festival.

"The artists will perform a series of shows that promote friendship and raise awareness of environmental issues," he remarked in a statement received on Tuesday.

Indonesia hopes to strengthen ties among Melanesian communities in Indonesia and other Pacific countries through the festival, he said.

He emphasized that Indonesia's participation in the festival reflects its commitment to intensifying cooperation with Pacific countries through the Pacific Elevation vision.

The Indonesian delegation from Papua will perform the song "Papua dalam Cinta" (Papua in Love), which was written by Pay and popularized by the Papuan music group Soa Soa.

The group will also perform a new song by Stephen Wally called "Building a Bridge of Love".

Meanwhile, the Kampung Leisplang musical group from Maumere, East Nusa Tenggara, will showcase a traditional performance of Gong Waning, an ethnic musical instrument. The performance will depict the importance of mutual cooperation and environmental issues.

In addition, the Kasbi Dance from Papua will enliven the cultural festival in Port Vila.

During a bilateral meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in Bali in December 2022, the Director-General of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) extended an invitation to Indonesia to participate in MACFEST.

Deputy Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Jotham Napat Nauka, also conveyed the same invitation during a working visit to Jakarta in June 2023.