Tuvalu's 1st edition of its "Cultural King Tides festival" - Tuvalu ! The Tide is High! - will take place during the next king tides, the highest tides of the year, from Feb 26th to March 1st, when most of the capital island is submerged by sea water coming through the ground.
Today global warming is the most serious issue humans have to solve. The remote and sparsely populated archipelago of Tuvalu is a microcosm of the environmental issues we all face. It is also the first sovereign nation faced with becoming uninhabitable due to climate change. If Tuvalu is to disappear, not only a land would be wiped off the maps, but a whole nation with its unique society, culture and traditions will be erased from the Human diversity spectrum.
Determined not to let their cultural patrimony - a remote part of the world's heritage - slip away, the Tuvaluan people have devised this plan to display, perform and record multiple cultural activities to take place at a most symbolic period of time.
Little is known about Tuvalu's culture. Although, it is believed that the Pacific was settled 6000 years ago, the discovery of underwater caves in Nanumaga, one of Tuvalu's northern islands, indicates that human could have settled much earlier. In 1861, the arrival of missionaries (London Missionary Society-LMS), might have changed Tuvalu's beliefs and religious traditions forever. What is lost is lost and the archipelago will keep some of its mysteries forever but there is an unquestionable need for preserving what is left.
During 3 days, traditional competitions and demonstrations will show some aspects of Tuvaluan Culture through sports, handicrafts, dancing, singing, food and Tuvalu's unique talent in improvised story-telling and dramas. The objective is to raise awareness about what will be lost if Tuvalu's nation was to disappear both to the new generations and to the world at large. Parallel activities on climate causes, consequences and solutions will target both children and adults, focusing on what we all can do to try to turn the tide.
This first edition of the Tuvalu Cultural King Tides Festival is made possible by the unified efforts of many Government ministries and NGO's*. It is part of The "Small is Beautiful" (SIB) plan, one of UNESCO's Decade of Education for Sustainable Development Remarkable Actions, launched with, as a primary objective, the preservation of Tuvalu's cultural heritage and identity.