PAPEETE PREPARES FOR 128th HEIVA I TAHITI FESTIVAL

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Annual cultural event features song and dance

PAPEÉTE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, June 7, 2010) - A special ceremony was held over the weekend close to the To΄ata place and in the Paofai Gardens in Papeéte to launch the 128th Heiva I Tahiti or Tahiti Festival.

It was the first time ever that such a ceremony was held in the Paofai Gardens.

The Heiva Nui committee in charge of the Tahiti Festival wanted to make something different for this year.

[PIR editor’s note: The annual Heiva I Tahiti, or Festival of Life, is a two-week extravaganza of Polynesian culture held in July featuring inter-island dance and singing competition. ]

No less than 300 dancers took part in this formal Heiva I Tahiti opening.

This year’s theme for the Heiva I Tahiti will be the rainbow, the colors being symbols of celebration and links between the different Polynesian islands.

Dance schools will first perform at the To΄ata place from June 8 to June 12.

Then the contest will really start for major groups, still at the To΄ata place. But, this year, only one professional dance group will take part in the event.

The official singing and dances’ contest will be held from July 9 to July 23 at the To΄ata place.

The Heiva Festival also includes stone lifting competitions, javelin throwing, and banana bearer races.

There will also be outrigger canoe races from July 2 to July 14 in the Papeéte harbor.

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