Over in the Northern Marianas, the 2022 Pacific Mini Games is coming to a close and as athletes celebrate victory in sport it is also a show of cultural pride.

2,000 visitors surged through Saipan to spectate at the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games. And as medals are worn proudly, cultural pride is also on full display. 

Vanessa Williams with Bwiibs Merchandise told KUAM News, "Bwiibs stands for 'like brother, sister', so like you and me, I am going to say bwiibs, so like that is ‘bro.’"

Local business owners, through the Carolinian Affairs Office’ “Project Liffang,” brings those two worlds together in evening markets this week. Aofia Tuiolosega, the owner of Aofia’s said, "A lot of athletes come out here we hang out at night time and just like exchange culture, you know, they love chewing."

"We are just exchanging cultures, sharing with one another, and comparing how similar we are," he said.

Those similarities also provide new opportunities and connections for local business owners.

Milelani Vinyard, co-owner of Bonita Basula, "When we started out it was really small and we were just selling to locals and just being able to share it with others from the other Pacific Islands, it is nice and we have had many of them who have said that some of the stuff we make are similar to their traditional wear which is also very inspiring for us."

That inspiration could last for generations to come.

Project Coordinator for the Carolinian Affairs Office Agatha Ketebengang said, "Project Liffang was designed to empower participating entrepreneurs, they are all local entrepreneurs, and their families to be self-sufficient.

"Events like this are important so we can promote and preserve our Carolinian culture here on the island."