Vanuatu had its first Tupunis Slow Food Festival last week in Lenakel, Tanna. The event was held from 21st – 26th August to showcase traditional food preparation and to celebrate national identity. The aim of the event was to bring representatives of Melanesian countries along with representatives of the six provinces in Vanuatu to share traditional ideas in food preparation and preservation.
The Minister for Lands, Ralph Regenvanu, said, ‘This was the first ever Slow Food Festival held in Vanuatu, and it is taking us back to the importance of land and its traditional uses of planting of food that our ancestors have practiced before.
The current government has fully supported this festival and a big thank you to all the hosts, participants and observers. I know the sharing of diverse food preparations and preservations will enrich everyone.’
Dr. Andrina Thomas, co-chair of the Slow Food Vanuatu Network, wrote on social media, ‘Slow Food is Vanuatu’s Cultural Heritage. We survive on our indigenous island food and this cultural heritage has sustained us for thousands of years.
Tupunis in the language of Tanna means that our resources in the land, sea and air have been utilized by our ancestors for thousands of years to sustain themselves and continue to be used by our current generation to sustain us. Therefore, each and everyone of us must promote, protect and conserve our Tupunis so that future generations can also benefit from it.
Remember fast food equates to non-communicable diseases, diabetes, hypertension, hear attacks, etc, while slow food means healthier and longer life and wellbeing. People who consumer more slow food (our indigenous island food, root crops, island cabbage, our natural resources) will die more slowly too.’
Joel Simo, a Tupunis Slow Food organizing team member, said ‘The main message is to encourage people to go back to consumption of local food and not to kill them with fast food that were sold in shops. We want to promote a healthy Vanuatu and remove our name from a country with higher number of Non-Communicable diseases’.
MEANING BLONG TUPUNIS
Tupunis hemi wan toktok we i kam aot long lanwis blong Tanna mo hemi minim fasin we pipol oli lukaotem risos long graon, wota mo solwota blong olgeta. Olgeta risos ia i lukaotem gud manples taosen yia finis kam kasem tede.
Tupunis Food Fest bamba i lukluk blong tekem bak plante traditional save long fasin blong priperem kakae we i save holem taet yumi long time blong disasta mo long ol gudfala taem.
SOURCE: The Vanuatu Independent (Issue 645), Facebook Credit – Michel Angelo Tarimavute, Facebook Photo Credit – Lolo Tai Minio