Preparations Underway for 2018 Pana Festival
BY AGNES MENANOPO
AS the calendar marches steadily towards July, Pana Festival is around the corner and the community of Haroro village in Gela, Central Province are current preparing to showcase to the public and international tourist their popular pana (traditional root crop).
Featuring the different unique species of Pana, Haroro community is aiming to launch and host the inaugural Pana Festival on July 6 this year.
Speaking to Solomon Entour News, Chief of Haroro Village, John Kelo said community is looking forward to the big event of Pana Festival in July.
“My community is going very well with our preparation for the big event. Our aim is to ensure our village setting looks attractive for our visiting guests,” he said.
The 2018 Pana Festival was initiated by the Imperial Tours and Services in partnership with Haroro village in Gela, Central Province. This is part of Gela Community and Imperial objective plan to support tourism by creating products to attract visitors.
According to owner of Imperial Tours Service, Ender Rence, the community wishes to celebrate Pana and the significant value it has to small-scale farmers. This is very interesting; the people from Gela have sought support from relevant authorities to but fail to listen to the community request.
“The Pana festival will take place at Haroro village next to Rodrick bay and will showcase the life of a pana from its planting, harvesting, eating and culture; the event will benefit the tourism sector of the country,” she told Solomon Entour.
Meanwhile, Kelo said the people of the community are very easy to control and hopes the preparation would be easy to undertake.
“The members of our community can easily listen and take orders from village leaders, therefore am confident with our initial preparations towards the event. As islander from Gela, am very proud that this root crop (pana) has survived over the years and am very thankful to the Heavenly Father for its abundant presence on the island,” he said.
Pana is the common root crop grown by the people of Central province and is preserved as their daily food similarly to other 8 provinces in Solomon Islands.
The village chief thanked the Imperial Travel Services for the establishment of partnership with his community in hosting the event.
“The community is also proud to host the event because it will the first of its kind in Solomon Islands,” Kelo said.
1. Pana is a staple diet for communities in Gela, Central province.
2. A sample of baked pana with coconut milk.