October 15, 2012— The U.S. Embassy Majuro participated for the first time in the fourth annual Bob (Pandanus) Festival parade on Saturday, October 13, earning 2ndplace honors for its float entry. Embassy staff joined RMI government dignitaries, NGOs, schools, and others at the old weather station to take part in the float parade, traditional Marshallese games, pandanus seedling distribution, and other activities that have become a part of this popular annual event.
The Bob Festival is an annual event that celebrates the important role of “bob” (pandanus) in Marshallese culture. All parts of the pandanus tree have important roles in traditional Marshallese culture: the leaves are used for weaving mats, canoe sails, roofing, and handicrafts; the vitamin-rich fruit is an important part of a nutritious diet; the roots are used in Marshallese medicine; and the trees themselves act as barriers to coastal erosion and help to combat other negative effects of climate change.
This year marks the fourth anniversary of the Bob Festival, which is organized annually by the Bob Festival Committee and Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI). For more pictures of this year’s Bob Festival, please visit the U.S. Embassy Majuro’s page on Facebook.