“We can use our culture to draw upon our values and maintain our integrity as a people and use that to guide us into the future,” said Ingram, a music producer, traditional drummer and famed percussionist who hails from Gaba Gaba, Central Province.
The ceremony will be themed closely around the local region’s hiri trade, an important cultural influence.
“It’s a really key part of our culture. There are a lot of songs, dances and tattoos.” he said.
The ceremony will pay homage to the trade relationship between the Motuan and Gulf Province people and the role this played in shaping historical and modern day PNG.
“These things set our culture up, where we really got our spirit of generosity and the fair distribution of wealth,” Ingram said.
“The opening ceremony is on Motuan land, they are the traditional people of the area and we wanted to pay respects to what we called the ‘papa ground’, the traditional people of the land.”
It would not be a celebration of Papua New Guinea without a sing-sing either.
The executive producer of the opening ceremony, Merryn Hughes (AUS), said that it might be biggest sing-sing ever in Papua New Guinea.
“There are about 800 to 900 sing-sing performers who will be part of the cast,” said Hughes.
“Nothing like this has ever been seen before in Papua New Guinea.”
The sing-sing performers are part of a cast of 3000 performers, and almost 300 ceremony staff, approximately 200 of which are volunteers.
A team of people that Hughes and Ingram said they are “blessed” to be involved with.