ExxonMobil PNG Limited (EMPNG), operator of PNG LNG, is supporting the 2018 Hiri Moale festival through its prestigious event, the Hiri Hanenamo Quest.
The annual festivity celebrates the Motu Koitabuan culture which originated in the Hiri West area of Central Province close to the PNG LNG plant.
“As sponsors of the Hiri Hanenamo Quest, we know that we are helping preserve the unique cultural heritage of the people of Motu-Koitabu,” said Dinesh Sivasamboo, ExxonMobil PNG’s Executive Director of Production.
Mr. Sivasamboo said the Hanenamo Quest is not only about preserving cultures but also about empowering women. It provides a platform for the young Motu Koita women to build their confidence, extend their networks and be cultural ambassadors for their people.
2018 Hiri Moale Festival Coordinator, Mr. Udu Vai thanked ExxonMobil PNG for its continuous support since 2014, saying, “the highlights of the festivities are usually the arrival of the Lagatoi and the Hiri Hanenamo Quest and I’m glad that ExxonMobil PNG has continued to support our event.”
Applications were open to young Motu Koitabu women aged between 18 and 25 years of age. The deadline for applications were closed on 20 August with 13 participants having registered. All the contestants will be vying for the prestigious title of 2018 Hiri Hanenamo Queen, the Runner-Up and Miss Hetura (Friendship).
The support by ExxonMobil PNG goes towards preparation for the contestants as well as the crowning of the 2018 Hiri Hanenamo Queen and the other categories. The first judging of the 2018 Hiri Hanenamo contestants will take place this week before the crowning on 16 September.
The Hiri Moale festival will be held on September 14-15 and will showcase the Hiri Trade expedition that was done in the past between the people of Gulf and Central province. It will also celebrate the Motu Koitabu people as the indigenous landowners of the National Capital District.