Bishop Museum's Celebrate Micronesia Festival returns with 'resilience'
The annual Celebrate Micronesia Festival is a chance for the public to learn about the diverse cultures of Oceania's western region.
The event takes place Saturday at Bishop Museum, where dozens of Micronesians showcase contemporary artwork and traditions.
"It's a beautiful opportunity for the public to learn about the diversity of Micronesia," said Mary Therese Perez Hattori, the director of the Pacific Islands Development Center at East-West Center. "Almost every Micronesian cultural group will be there."
Hattori, who is Chamorro and from Guam, said there would be more Chamorro presence this year, from poetry performances to weaving. There will even be a Chamorro food truck.
"We have had a small Chamorro presence from CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) and Guam in the past, but not as much as we will have this year. So we're really excited about that," she said.
Micronesia has 2,000 islands consisting of the Republic of Palau, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan, Tinian and Rota), the U.S. territory Guam, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, The Federated States of Micronesia (Pohnpei Chuuk, Yap and Kosrae), the Republic of Kiribati and the Republic of Nauru.
Nearly 25,000 Micronesians live in Hawaiʻi.
The public can participate in weaving and lei-making workshops led by Marshallese, Pohnpei and Chamorro artists. Palauan carvers will also be working on their craft.
The event also features a fashion show and storytelling session from Waipahu High School students.
Jerelyn Takiko Watanabe from the Pacific Islands Development Program at East-West Center said social services would also be available at the festival.
She said Project Vision would be doing vision tests, and the Hawaiʻi Department of Education's "Yes Bus" and English Learner program will be at the event.
This year's theme is resilience.
"We want to celebrate the resilience, but part of that resilience is the strength of our people and our culture," Hattori said.
Tickets range from $20 to $30 depending on age. Admission is $5 for kamaʻāina and military. Children under 4 years old can participate for free.
The in-person event will also be live-streamed on Facebook. For more information, click here.