Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
U.S. Attorney’s Office Presents Certificates of Appreciation to Festival of Pacific Arts Delegations Celebrating 12th Festival of Pacific Arts
In commemoration of the month of May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, our office participated in the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts (FestPac) as Guam hosted 28 Island Nations and Territories from across the Pacific in what is called the “Olympics of Pacific Arts” and the largest cultural event to take place in Guam's history, from May 22 – June 4, 2016. The theme for FestPac 2016 was “Håfa Iyo-ta, Håfa Guinahå-ta, Håfa Ta Påtte, Dinanña’ Sunidu Siha Giya Pasifiku,” which translates to “What we own, what we have, what we share – United Voices of the Pacific.”
Our office extended a warm Hafa Adai welcome and presented Certificates of Appreciation to the Delegations of the Pacific Island Nations and Territories at the Hagatna Paseo de Susana Park. First Lady and Honorary Chairwoman of the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts, Christine Calvo, was present with representatives from the Delegations. Our staff was invited to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by also wearing traditional cultural attire or island wear to the presentation, and participating in the FestPac events after the presentation. The FestPac events included traditional performances, arts and crafts displays and demonstrations, and music and story-telling.
According to various publications, "The Festival of the Pacific Arts is held every four years since 1972, and brings together artists and cultural practitioners from around the Pacific region for two weeks of festivity. It is recognized as a major regional cultural event, and is the largest gathering in which Pacific peoples unite to enhance their respect and appreciation of one another.
The idea of a Festival of Pacific Arts was conceived by the Conference of the South Pacific Commission (now the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in an attempt to combat the erosion of traditional customary practices. Since 1972, delegations from 27 Pacific Island Nations and Territories have come together to share and exchange their cultures at each Pacific Arts Festival. A delegation of 2,500 performers, artists and cultural practitioners were expected, in addition to thousands of visitors from Asia and festival followers who see to it they are part of the festival every four years.”
The 28 Pacific Island Nations and Territories that participated in FestPac were: American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia (Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae), Fiji Islands, French Polynesia, Guam (2016 Host), Hawaii, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norfolk Island, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Rapa Nui, Republic of China (Taiwan), Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna.
FestPac officially started with the launching of proas from several island nations, including Guam. The seafaring group from Guam paddled just offshore to welcome visiting seafarers who traveled from their islands by proas.
The grand opening of the Guam Museum also coincided with the opening of FestPac.
Attached are photos taken at the presentation of Certificates of Appreciation to the Delegations participating at FestPac on Guam and other photos taken of some of the visiting Pacific Island Nations and Territories, participating in traditional performances, arts and crafts displays and demonstrations, and music and story-telling.