After two years of preparing to host this unique event, the countdown to the Pig Festival in Jiwaka province is underway.
The Pig Festival is a traditional ceremony that has been practiced for generations in Jiwaka where young men and women are initiated into adulthood.
The killing of the pigs during the initiation symbolizes the change and growth of a leader, where one is able to lead, gather and defend. The event itself, is also an act of showcasing the wealth of the people.
Chairman and Director of the Pig Festival, Jack Kulam, says the event is a very significant ceremony and one that he is willing to revive so that the young generation can carry on the legacy into the future.
“The festival itself from business side of point, is a very expensive exercise where we are to pay for the pigs for the festival as part of our identity,” Festival Director Jack Kulam said.
He says around fifty to sixty cultural groups are expected to perform at the pig festival.
The event is commissioned under the National Cultural Commission and the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority, is on the national calendar, a produc,t he says can attract many tourists.
“The provincial government must step in and help support this very important ceremony as it is our cultural identify that we must maintain in our community for our benefit. The event is also an opportunity for young men and women to find employment or have some form of income” said Kulam.
Kulam is urging the Provincial government to look into supporting the Pig Festival as it is their cultural identity.
“It’s a very important Tourism product that we need to promote in the Province. If we want this product or event to attract tourist not just into the province but the country. Similar to Hagen, Enga and Goroka, Jiwaka province and its Pig Festival can do the same in attracting tourist and at the same time generate revenue,” he added.
The Pig Festival was introduced to the country and tourists in the early seventies, however, due to financial constraints, the event did not take place in 2017 and 2018.
This year, the Pig Festival in Jiwaka Province is set to start on the 28th to 30th of November 2019.