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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (January 4, 2000 – The National)---A nation without culture has no soul, Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta said in Madang during the New Year celebrations.

And Sir Mekere has called on the people to preserve Papua New Guinea's vast and beautiful cultures.

Sir Mekere, when speaking at the official opening of the two-day Madang Millennium Cultural Festival, December 31 – January 1, said cultures determine the uniqueness of a nation.

"We must look after our culture and conserve it for future generations," the Prime Minister said.

He urged the people to pass on their cultures to the young by teaching them to make crafts and artifacts to sell to tourists and art collectors.

Sir Mekere told the people who came to witness the show from various parts of Madang, that their province has 174 different languages and it was important to preserve the cultures that gave these languages their uniqueness.

Sir Mekere and Lady Morauta left for a quiet New Year’s weekend on Karkar Island after opening the festival.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

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