Maewo Siloa Slow Food Festival
The torch or Stik Faea which was lit during the Tupunis Festival on Tanna was passed on to Penama, specifically the island of Pentecost. However, due to some disgruntlement and indecisions on where to host the event on that island, the chiefs of Maewo and their people have come forward and requested to host the event instead.It was eventually agreed for the stik faea to be handed over to Maemo chiefs, who are in charge of hosting the event at Gamble School.
The Siloa Slow Food Festival on Maewo Island is scheduled from the 21 to 24 July 2019. A tentative program is attached for your information. The SSFM (Vanuatu) is kindly seeking the support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity to fund and stage this event as it (SSFM (Vanuatu)) helps fulfill MALFFB’s program objectives to the people of Vanautu. A detail of costs of the event is included herein.
The Siloa Slow Food Movement (Vanuatu) is a branch of the Terra Madre.
Terra Madre is a network of food communities. The Terra Madre network was launched by the Slow Food grass roots organization, and the intent is to provide small-scale farmers, breeders, fishers and food artisans whose approach to food production protects the environment and communities. The English translation of the term Terra Madre, in reverse, where Madre implies Mother and Terra meaning Earth; the Mother Earth.
The Siloa Slow Food Movement (Vanuatu), SSFM (Vanuatu), was formed in 2009. It stands on the same principles of Terra Madre, and, especially for Vanuatu and our region, it includes political sovereignty over our lands, forests, seas, minerals and foods. Food sovereignty reigns supreme in the Vanuatu way of life as it defines our cultures, our traditions and our identity with Mother Earth or Mama Graon. It is evident in the larger Melanesian diaspora that our ‘brothers and sisters’ in neighboring countries and territories share the same values to us, but many are also deprived of their connection to the land and their traditional foods because of ‘land grabbing’ by colonizers and foreigners, large scale mining, civil unrest and political alienation. It is for these reasons that SSFM (Vanuatu) organized a week-long Melanesian Indigenous Land Defense Alliance (MILDA) forum on Lelepa Island in March 2014. The Lelepa MILDA recognized that Melanesia was losing its connection with Mama Graon and its foods and it reaffirmed, through a declaration, to work together to advocate for a return to the traditional ways of food production, processing, preparation and consumption. Similarly, the Tupunis Food Festival was organized in August 2016 at Lenakel on Tanna Island to celebrate our foods, culture and our bond with Mama Graon.
As the term implies, the SSFM (Vanuatu) is an advocate for traditional methods of food production – to follow the lunar calendar to prepare a garden, grow crops and allow them to mature naturally, to harvest and to prepare the food the traditional way.
The fundamental objectives of the movement in our part of the world include; allowing the land to heal (replenish) the natural way, respecting the traditions and taboos surrounding crop production, protecting the environment, and enjoying our foods the traditional way which, advertently contributes to fighting non-communicable disease (NCD).