Pohnpei celebrates Cultural Day 2018

Takuya Nagaoka, Executive Director

NGO Pasifika Renaissance

Photos by Dana Lee Ling and Takuya Nagaoka

Rohi group Takuya2Pohnpei celebrated Cultural Day at the Enipein Elementary School on March 29 this year. It is an annual event to celebrate Pohnpei State’s cultures. This year, since the official Pohnpei Cultural Day fell on Saturday, March 31, Pohnpei Cultural Day was observed on the 30th while the actual celebration took place on the 29th. This year’s theme was “Our Cultures: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”

The event was co-hosted by two committees of the Kitti Municipal Government and the Pohnpei State Government organized by the Division of Social Affairs, and the Department of Health and Social Services due to the willingness of Kitti. The Kitti Agriculture Fair was also held in conjunction with the celebration.

It was a well-organized event and was attended by a large crowd. Mr. Enerihko Peter humorous served as the Master of Ceremonies. Distinguished guests included Pohnpei State Governor, Honorable Marcelo Peterson, FSM Congress Vice Speaker Senator Esmond Moses, State Senator McGarry Miguel, State Senator Dahker Daniel, the Australian Ambassador, the Acting Chinese Ambassador, and traditional leaders of Kitti. FSM President Peter Christian also briefly visited.

Rohi group Takuya

The event started with a sakau ceremony, followed by welcoming remarks by Kitti Chief Magistrate Tony Sarapio. Two of the best essays on the theme, written by Kitti High School students were read. Students from Sokehs, Nett and Kitti gave presentations on the importance of water. Then traditional decrees were made by Governor Peterson and the Nahnmwarki of Kitti, His Majesty Gregorio Peter.

Groups from Enipein Pah, Enipein Powe, Mwakot and Rohi performed traditional dances and marching dances. Public Health staff members performed contemporary dances. It was a very special day that we can watch so many traditional dances! This year, stepped dance floors were prepared to accommodate four different types of traditional dances (kepir, sapei, wen and dokia) at different levels which made the performances even more special.

Pandanus leaf mats and kopwou baskets DanaDisplays included agricultural products and handicrafts amassed by Kitti people for the Agriculture Fair and historical photo exhibition by the Pohnpei State Historic Preservation and NGO Pasifika Renaissance, in addition to the Public Health staff’s consultation held there.

I would suggest that if the event is hosted by one municipality like it was this year and last year, more effort would be required to recruit participation by people from the other municipalities to celebrate it all together as o

ne Pohnpei. The event will need the Pohnpei Tourism office’s involvement to promote it internationally. Its counterpart festival, Yap Day, is a good example of success in attracting foreign visitors. As one small first step, we have created a Facebook page for Pohnpei Cultural Day to foster public awareness, especially to Pohnpeians both here and overseas. The event could be expanded to week-long celebrations (“


Cultural Week”) by different municipalities, including various cultural and educational activities and ending with a large celebration for the whole Pohnpei, in the future.

agricultural products Dana 

The committees, local Kitti residents and other supporters are congratulated for the successful event this year. If you missed it, you can watch our video on our YouTube channel: https://goo.gl/DXh5vL. It was a great day to see people’s pride and appreciation to their culture! Let’s keep tradition alive!