Grace Mera Molisa (1946-2002) was a politician and poet from Vanuatu, seen as one of the leading intellectuals and activists from the Pacific. She was a strong activist for women’s and minority rights in her country.

She was the first woman in Vanuatu to obtain a university degree when she gained a BA from the University of the South Pacific in 1977. In 1997, she founded the group Vanuatu Women in Politics, aimed at providing help for women who wished to start a political career. She also created the country’s National Arts Festival.


170519 ChungYong National Military Arts Festival

cr: tomozuki1


Only Black Passenger on Titanic

Joseph Philippe Lemercier Laroche (May 26, 1886 – April 15, 1912) was a Paris-educated Haitian engineer.

He was the only black passenger on the ill-fated voyage of the RMS Titanic.bHe got his pregnant French wife and their two daughters onto a lifeboat; they survived, but he himself did not. At the age of 15, he was sent to Beauvais, France to study. After he graduated with an engineering degree, he married Frenchwoman Juliette Lafargue. However, he was unable to find work matching his qualifications due to the color of his skin in a racist society. Tired of living off of his wine seller father-in-law, he decided to return to Haiti with his growing family. His uncle, Cincinnatus Leconte, the President of Haiti,arranged a job for him as a math teacher. His mother purchased first class passage for them aboard the liner La France. When he and his wife learned of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique’s policy against children dining with their parents, they exchanged their tickets for a second class passage aboard the Titanic. Laroche died in the sinking of the Titanic. His body was never recovered. His wife returned to Paris with her daughters Louise and Simonne Laroche and gave birth to their son, Joseph Lemercier Laroche. Laroche, a three-act opera based on his life, was an official part of the 2003 National Black Arts Festival and was scheduled to premiere at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center on July 18.


Funny monsters of Mohács - the Busós

The tradition originated with the Croatian minority in Mohács, but today the busó is a general emblem of the city and a commemoration of the great events of its history. More than a social event, the carnival is an expression of belonging to a city, a social group and a nation. The arts underlying the festivities are preserved by self-organized groups of busós of all cultural backgrounds, many of whom pass on the techniques of mask carving and ritual celebration to younger generation.

The Busójárás (Busó-wakling) is an annual celebration held at the end of the Carnival season (“Farsang”), ending the day before Ash WednesdayL Locals explain the Carnival with two related but different legends:
1. During the Turkish occupation of the territory, people from Mohács fled the town, and started living in the nearby swamps and woods to avoid Ottoman (Turkish) troops… 2. In the older, less popular story, the busós are scaring away not the Turks but Winter itself. The Busós are wearing painted handmade masks from wood and using tools such as „marhakolomp” (cowbell) and „kereplő” to generate the very big noise.

The Busó festivities at Mohács bring together the Croat minority in Mohács and their Hungarian, German, Serbian and Roma neighbours who have passed on the tradition for generations, creating a strong sense of local identity and multi-ethnic unity through music, masking, dances and celebration. It is a vibrant example of cultural pluralism, of the continuing creativity and innovation of its practitioners, and the cultural openness of the local community.

These traditional festivities have been inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of the UNESCO in 2009.