Sunday, September 06, 2009

Madang Hopes for the Big Show Sept 16 - 19

This article was published Sunday Sep 6, 2009 by Sunday Chronicle under "Asia Pacific Perspective: China + column".
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By Mathew Yakai

IF ANY provinces currently values and prepares for a big celebration to coincide with Papua New Guineas’ 34th Independent Anniversary then Madang Province is one.

Madang Show will coincide with PNG’s 34th birthday. What an extravaganza and double feast for the people of Madang and the visitors who will join in this celebration, valuing the birth of our motherland and showcasing the cultural diversity of Madang and PNG.

With the theme, “Kainkain Pasin Tumbuna, Em Yumi Madang” is to show-off the Mountain, River, Valley and Sea people of Beautiful Madang to see if they can scare-off the flying foxes with their kundu beats. Come and see if that happens! Otherwise, the flying foxes would be an additional showcase for the visitors.

Not only that! The registered 45 singsing groups include groups from Morobe, Eastern Highlands, East Sepik and people from other provinces residing in Madang.

Chairman of Madang Festival Show Stotick Kamya told this scribe that last years’ show theme was, “Kainkain Pasin Em Yumi Madang” but the theme did not specify what kind of pasin (events). So this year his Committee decided to include “Tumbuna” to depict the absolute diversity of cultures Madang boasts today.

This is in line with the Committee’s ambition to fervently display to the children of beautiful Madang the fact of their cultural diversity. And visitors will join in this Show too.

The highlight of the show will be the traditional singsing dances to show the real “pasin tumbuna”. Another attraction will be the involvement of Madang International Community to showcase their traditional uniqueness.

If you are unable to go overseas to see and experience foreign cultures then this is your golden chance. Groups from India, China, Nepal, Australia, United States and others will be in their traditional costumes and show-off their pride with the message that not only PNG and Madang but the globe is truly diverse with cultures, traditions, languages, religion, ethnicity but yet we can live harmoniously with one peace. Thanks God for this!

Talking of international community, a former chef at Madang Resort, Dereck Frizel now resides in Australia will be in town with his five men band adding to PNG music the gospel, country, Western and classical flavors. He loves Madang and funds his own travel to the show to be part of the Event.

Bamboo band is synonymous with Madang. But in North Solomons they also use bamboo without guitar to make an absolutely unique sound. And across to our Melanesian brothers, the Solomon Islanders use bamboo pipes and they are referred to as “pipers”.

This scribe is compelled that Solomon Pipers and North Solomons bamboos have some commonalities in their proud music. In this Madang Show, Gate Way Band and New Age Band from North Solomons will mesmerize the show-goers. This is all about music out from an object called “bamboo”. Come and discover yourself.

Oh yes! During my childhood days, radio Western Highlands used to play a lot of Madang Bamboo band music’s recorded by Kalang Studio. Some of the Western Highlands string bands like Highway Rumors tried to copy the Madang bamboo band style but they could not because there was no Madang blood in them.

Chairman Mr. Kamya said, “We want to encourage bamboo band in the show. That’s the identity for Madang.”

Other events of the show will include greasy pole, marathon, tug of war, local brass band, gospel concert, string band, theatre group, bicycle race, marine games, floats, arts and crafts sales and many more.

Greasy pole will be different this time due to an experience last year. Prices will not be hanged up in the pole where the successful climber will get. Instead, they will be kept at the grand stand and the successful climber will present himself/herself to get the price.

Last year, the successful climber dropped the bicycle from the pole and somebody on the ground happened to get away with the price.

And for the first time, two poles will be erected where one will be for the young and one for the old. So at last, the old can see fit to climb the greasy pole. This will be a fun filled game.

Probably next time, we might erect another pole for the females. This is something for the committee to think about. But females are at liberty to challenge with their male counterparts to climb one of the two poles in this Show.

Another interesting event will be the fishing game under marine sports. In this game, the first person who catches first five fish will walk away with first price. But the second price will depend on the weight and sizes of the fish.

Canoe racing will be fascinating as well. People of all ages will be in different categories to paddle away fighting the waves to be the best. It would be exciting to see some highlanders who have never been to sea to paddle.

Mr. Kamya said his Committee planned to bring in the PNG Defence Force and the original Paramana Strangers to add color to the Show but due to financial problem, they will not be in town. But he said this will not hinder the excitement of the Show because what is currently in place is sufficient and full of events.

For the power band lovers, Madang show will not give prominence as the Show Committee is encouraging more traditional events like string bands, singsing groups and others that relate to real Madang culture for the youths to be proud of their province.

Mr. Kamya said more singing groups have turned up to register but they were refused because the current show ground is unable to accommodate.

He said last year, about 100,000 people passed through the gate and this year he is expecting even more.

“My problem is how to cater for them. We have produced more tickets compared to last year,” he said.

He is also expecting more international tourists this year even though the traditional Madang Show date has been changed to Sept, affecting their travel.

This scribe asked Mr. Kamya on the law and order problem currently seem to be prevailing given the regular media publicity. But the adamant Chairman is on focus and reiterated that there is no crime statistics in Madang Province.

“What is reported in the media is not alarming. Crime statistics by police is not alarming like in Port Moresby, Lae, Mt Hagen and other major centers.”

“Madang is a peaceful town and now that small crimes like bag snatching, attempted robberies etc are reported, they think it’s serious. It is not that serious.” Mr. kamya said.

He further said that Madang is experiencing rapid economic boom and petty problems are likely to happen.

“It’s part of life but we will manage this. No where in the world is a peaceful place as long as there is human being. Madang is no exception but ours is very minor compared with rest of PNG,” Mr. Kamya said.

He said his committee is arranging for Lae police to provide security with the help of Madang Police.

Mr. Kamya said the Ward Councilors in Madang and youths have also taken ownership of the Show to ensure a peaceful and enjoyable Show.

“We are confident that this Show will go well. We are confident with the police, CIS, communities in and around Madang.”

“We want to ensure the people enjoy their culture. There were minor problems last year but we managed it. This time we will manage it with the help of Madang peace loving people,” he said.

Meanwhile, business houses in Madang and Madang Provincial Government have sponsored the Show in cash and kind.

“Business houses have been generally good with their usual support,” he said.

Mr. Kamya personally thanked Ramu NiCo, though being new in Madang has been the major sponsor this year with K20,000 donated on Wednesday 2. Last year Ramu NiCo donated K10,000.

“I hope that Ramu NiCo will be our long term partner in this Show and other events in Madang. I thank the management of Ramu NiCo and Chinese Government as the Chairman of Madang Festival Show and Chairman of the Madang Chamber of Commerce.

Chief Technical Director of Ramu NiCo Dr. James Wang presented the cheque on behalf of Ramu NiCo at the Ramu NiCo Madang Office Complex.

“We are very pleased to be part of the Madang Festival Show,” Dr. Wang said.

Governor of Madang Province Hon. Sir Arnold Amet and Mr. Gu Yuxiang, Executive Vice President of Ramu NiCo were present to witness the ceremony. Others included officials from governor’s office, board members of the Madang Provincial Event Council and officials from Ramu NiCo.

Mr. Gu emphasized that Ramu NiCo is proud to be part of Madang community to create a harmonious society for all people to live in a friendly and safer environment despite their cultural differences.

“We are happy to support the Madang Show and be part of the Madang community,” Mr. Gu said.

Governor Sir Amet while thanking Ramu NiCo for the sponsorship said that his administration is fostering for a long term working relationship with Ramu NiCo for the benefit of the people of Madang.

“Ramu NiCo is here for longer and we have to create a social and economic partnership,” Sir Amet said.

Other business houses in Madang have also supported the Madang Show in cash and kind that will be used to ensure that activities of various kinds are staged so that the show-goers enjoy.

Madang Provincial Government under the administration of Governor Sir Arnold Amet sees that Madang Show is no ordinary Show because it will coincide with the 34th PNG Independence Anniversary.

Come and enjoy Madang Festival Show with the peace loving people of Madang.

Note: This commentary is in line with Sunday Chronicle’s mission to promote positive journalism in PNG. This is Sunday Chronicles contribution to encourage tourism in Madang. For comments, e-mail the writer at: m_yakai@hotmail.com or SMS 71489901

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