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An ocean of culture

Every four years, the peoples of the Pacific come together for a two-week celebration by and of the peoples of Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia — and you’re invited.

Next year, while much of the rest of the world will focus on the Olympics and the World Cup, another gathering of nations that only takes place every four years will be convening from across the Pacific.

Thousands of artists, musicians, dancers, master carvers, weavers, jewelers and seafarers from 27 countries will come together on the island of Guam for the 2016 Festival of Pacific Arts.

Nowhere else could you get a taste, literally and figuratively, of all the cultures of Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia at the same time. And only the best of every culture and every island nation get the chance to “represent” at this festival.

This will be only the twelfth such festival ever held since 1972. It’s never been held in the same place twice.

Whatever aspect of Pacific life and culture has ever caught your eye or captivated your interest, you’ll find its masters and its experts here.

This is where you find out that Easter island is about more than just monolithic stone carvings, where you meet the seafarers who still navigate the world’s largest ocean without the need of GPS.

And this being held on Guam, you also may find some reasons to return here once the festival is over — gorgeous white-sand beaches and world-class diving, equally unspoiled and relatively uncrowded.

Here, too, history buffs will find living memories of World War 2. Japan invaded Guam three days after Pearl Harbor. Three years later, US soldiers and Marines took it back in three weeks of vicious fighting that saw Guamanians rise up against their Japanese occupiers.

(If you run into Japanese on the island today, they’re more likely to be tourists and shoppers, the latter group zeroing in on the world’s largest Kmart, which happens to be on Guam. Not kidding. Word is, they shop for the larger clothing sizes they can’t find readily back home.)

WHEN
22 May — 4 June, 2016

WHERE
Guam

WHO
Cultural practitioners from:

  • American Samoa
  • Australia
  • Cook Islands
  • Easter Island
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • French Polynesia
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • Nauru
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Niue
  • Norfolk Island
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu
  • Wallis and Futuna

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