10 Jul 2012

Benefits outweigh costs of Pacific arts festival: anthropologist

4:37 am on 10 July 2012

An anthropologist who has been following the Festival of Pacific Arts since 1985 says the event is still worth having, despite the costs of hosting and attending it in difficult economic times.

The 11th festival is into its second week in Solomon Islands and every day tens of thousands of people from all over the country are flocking to the main festival grounds in the capital, Honiara.

Dr Karen Stevenson, who at the University of the South Pacific's Oceania Centre in Fiji, says it is wonderful to see them so interested in what people from other provinces are doing.

"And you think wouldn't they know this but why would they know this, so it's such an opportunity I think for that way for people to actually learn not only about different nations and what's going on in different nations but what's going on in their own nation, so I think financially I do think it's worth it."

However Dr Karen Stevenson says she never knows how Pacific Island countries afford to stage the four-yearly event and the fact that several are not attending this year shows how expensive it is for participants.