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Media Releases, 15 September 2014

PNG LNG supports the fourth Kutubu Kundu and Digaso Festival

The PNG LNG Project, operated by ExxonMobil PNG Limited, has come on board with a sponsorship of K20,000 to support the annual Kutubu Kundu and Digaso Festival.

The festival will take place in Kutubu, Southern Highlands Province, from 19 to 20 September. It is an event that brings together people from the Kutubu, Bosavi and Samberigi areas to celebrate, showcase and educate the local communities on the importance of preserving of their traditional cultures.

This funding from the PNG LNG Project will help with transport and logistics of the sing-sing groups. More than 23 sing-sing groups from the Kikori River basin have been invited to participate.

Dale Pittman, ExxonMobil PNG’s Deputy Production Manager, said that ExxonMobil recognises and values the rich and diverse culture of Papua New Guinea, and especially the communities where the company has operations.

“Educating children and young people on the importance of their cultural heritage is a key step in preserving and promoting the unique culture of Papua New Guinea,” he said.

“As well as supporting festivals like this one, we also share with students books that both encourage literacy and an understanding of the various cultures around PNG.”

James Irimaru, Chairman of the Organising Committee, thanked the PNG LNG Project and ExxonMobil for their generous support. He added that the donation demonstrates ExxonMobil’s commitment to promoting the importance of keeping PNG culture and traditions alive.

The festival will showcase the unique Digaso oil extraction method, the shorthanded Kundu and tapa cloth making, the salt that signifies the ancestral trade route between the highlands and the coast, and traditional music and dance.

The traditional courtship and hausman talk will be displayed in the long-houses during the evening.

This year’s theme is Lukautim Bus, Graun na Wara – Em Laip. The festival organising committee has worked closely together with local NGOs such as CDI Foundation, WWF and local community groups to prepare what will be the fourth and the largest festival since its inception.

The event will bring not only cultural groups together, but schools, churches and leaders from the area, to once again celebrate the country’s independence, through the promotion of the uniqueness of the Kutubu’s rich socio-cultural practices and traditions of dress, song, dance and food.

Since the Festival started in 2011, more than 5000 people have participated.