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Samoa shines in Olympics of culture

SAMOAN STARS: Some members of the Samoan delegation in the Solomon Islands. [Photo: Karen Holman, Pacific Voyager]

Samoa is taking centre stage at the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts being held in Honiara, Solomon Islands, this week.

Since Monday, 76 proud Samoans have been exhibiting the best of Samoan culture for the thousands gathering in Honiara to witness the Olympics of Pacific island culture. Samoa’s delegation is chaperoned by the Minster of Education, Sports and Culture, Magele Mauiliu Magele and his Associate Minister, Tu’uu Anasi’i Leota.

They represent Samoa’s artists, artisans and officials who contribute to consultations regarding Cultural development in the Pacific. Culture in harmony with Nature is the theme for the festival this year.

On Monday, the hosts of the festival began the ceremonies with a traditional welcome where canoes were received on shore the EA Oval in Honiara. Thousands of singing Pacific islanders spread along the black sandy beach, to welcome the fleet of va’a from their respective islands, including Samoa’s Gaualofa. Samoa’s flag was hoisted high beside those of other Pacific islands.

Breath-taking fireworks concluded the morning with the Samoans stealing the show with their fa’ataupati (slap dance).

Later that day, the 20 Pacific islands represented by their national delegates marched along the streets of Honiara in their national and traditional wear with their musical instruments.

The march was cheered and applauded by wide-eyed and smiling onlookers whom were mostly Solomon islanders, men, women and children.



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