FestPac is over. With 29 island nations represented, it was impossible to see every dance performance, art exhibit, poetry reading, and film. I barely scratched the surface of the various demonstrations in the fields of wood carving, metal working, tattooing, culinary arts, canoe navigation, floral arranging, and other disciplines. I learned so much about many of the nations in attendance.
Each performance, exhibit and demonstration was a lesson in culture, geography, and the arts. For example, I learned that the Solomon Islands is comprised of almost 1,000 different islands. Though English is listed as the official language, only 1-2% of the population speak it. There are almost 80 different languages in the Solomon Islands alone. There were large nations represented at FestPac, such as Australia and New Zealand, and there were small island nations I had never even heard of. Feeling as if I’ve only scratched the surface of this hemisphere of the world, it’s made my travel wish list even longer.
This event only happens once every four years, and I was lucky to have been living in Guam the year that they hosted. I believe the next Festival of Pacific Arts will be hosted in Hawaii in 2020. If you have the opportunity to attend it in person, I highly recommend it.