The sounding of the conch shell by members of the Isla Baha'i community on Tanna marked the unveiling of the Temple design. This is a traditional act that signals significant milestones.
Many of the island's inhabitants were dressed in Tannese traditional costumes to welcome the unveiling of the Temple design.
Dancers perform the "Unity Drama" and "Unity Dance."
In his speech at the ceremony, President of Nikoletan Tanna Island Council of Chiefs, Chief Freeman Nariu Sawaram, emphasized the importance of unity, sharing the analogy of the diverse organs of the human body working together for a common purpose. "We are here today to launch a starting point in a journey by the Baha'i community," he said. "We have to join hands, work together, and forgive one another. Then we can achieve whatever the whole body requires and build a better Tanna."
"Unity is a strong powerful force for our nation that will change our society," said Chief Sawaram in an interview later. "The answer to progress and true development is unity—without this we cannot advance forward. Our people must know this truth."
Prayers from various sacred texts were read and chanted in English, Bislama, Hindu, Arabic, and Persian in an atmosphere of reverence and respect.
John Sesil Moses, a member of the Seventh Day Adventist community performed a song about the House of Worship. He later said, "I am overwhelmed with so much joy and gladness that I cannot express in words what is in my heart. It was an honor to sing together with the Baha'i youth today, and I pray God's blessing to be upon them and the services they render."
Kasow Nupow (left), representative of Yapinap, an indigenous belief system of Tanna, chanted a traditional song: "We are all children of Kal'm'Naow." This means that everyone originates from the same source. The Yapinap tradition contains the prophecy about the ultimate unification of all peoples. Chief Noakawit (right), read a Tannese traditional quotation that translates to: "We must have love and respect for each other."
The Acting Secretary General from the TAFEA Provincial Government Council, Ketty Nabuwat, shared encouraging words on behalf of the government.
The New Era Radiant Singers, a youth group from the community of Lenakel in Tanna, marked this auspicious occasion by performing a song specially composed song, "Mashriqu'l-Adhkar Tabu Haos blong God."
"We are overwhelmed with joy. We are short of words to describe our feeling," said one member of the choir. Another added: "I could not sing anymore when the Temple design was unveiled."
Joyful participants at the unveiling ceremony for the Tanna House of Worship
Over a thousand participants gathered at the unveiling of the Temple design, including dignitaries and visitors from neighboring islands.
Youth singers from the Adventist Church performed at the ceremony on 18 June.