BY CHRIS ALEX
THE host province of the XVII Pacific Games, Guadalcanal Province, Solomon Islands, welcomed athletes and delegates from participating nations of the Oceania’s Pacific region with a customary ceremony in a colorful display of hospitality and cultural heritage in Honiara.
The spectacular display of the Guadalcanal Traditional Towering ‘Chupu’ and shell money was the event’s high point. The “Chupu,” the rich customs of the Guadalcanal people, is the largest ever presented to any delegation visiting the province.
Constructed from more than ten thousand Taros obtained from East Guadalcanal farmers, the “Chupu” is the largest ever offered to any visiting group in the nation.
In a moving speech, Premier Francis Sade of Guadalcanal highlighted the importance of the Chupu gift and the cultural significance of shell money.
The Premier emphasized that the Chupu symbolized not just harmony and peace for the Solomon Islands but also a message of peace to their respected Pacific neighbors who were competing in the next games.
Premier Sade told athletes and regional representatives in attendance, “The Chupu and shell money hold immense value in Guadalcanal culture, symbolizing peace and unity for the Pacific Games 2023.”
He welcomed his neighbors from the Pacific Islands with open arms and invited them to participate actively in this historic athletic event in the upcoming weeks.
Premier Sade made a sincere appeal to the local populace, asking them to show reverence and give warm greetings to the visiting teams and athletes in order to create a spirit of solidarity during the competition.Distinguished guests graced the occasion, including the Attorney General, the head of the Pacific Games Council, the chair of the National Hosting Authority, and representatives from participating nations.
Their attendance enhanced the auspiciousness of the event and demonstrated the significance of the Pacific Games as a catalyst for regional unity.
All eyes are now focused on Sunday’s ceremonial opening ceremony, where a large-scale demonstration of the true spirit of unity and sportsmanship is anticipated as excitement mounts.
In the meantime, this week has seen the start of the table tennis, basketball, and volleyball tournaments in advance of the XVII Pacific Games 2023 in Honiara, which will officially launch the sports events.
In addition to exciting sporting events, the 2023 Pacific Games are expected to celebrate the various cultures that make up the Pacific region and promote friendships and ties that transcend the confines of the playing field.