Honourable Prime Minister, Susuga Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi officially opened the Samoa Ne’i Galo two-day festival this morning.
The annual festival aims to provide a platform for young people to engage in traditional and contemporary cultural expressions; to enhance culture awareness and practices; and to mainstream cultural heritage, is being held at Tiafau, Mulinuu.
The programme includes competitions by eleven local colleges with two from the big island of Savaii.
The competition categories include Samoan songs, traditional clap dance and speeches.
In his keynote address, Tuilaepa offered words of advice to the crowd about the importance of the Samoan culture and language.
“When we talk about culture and tradition, it means that we are talking about treasuring our language,” urged Tuilaepa.
He said many countries have lost their native language because they prefer to converse more in the English language.
“Our language broadens our cultures and traditions as in dancing, songs, poems, food preparations and showing of respect in hospitality.”
Nine (9) Colleges in Upolu: Safata, Palalaua, Paul IV, Nuuausala, Leififi, Sagaga, Maluafou, Wesley and Avele College. Two colleges from Savaii: Itu o Tane College and Don Bosco College.
The categories for this year’s festival:
1) Cultural Performance – Ma’ulu’ulu, Faataupati and Taualuga (Taupou & Faaluma)
2) Samoan Speech (Oratory)
3) Swing Choir
The prize giving and closing ceremony will be held tomorrow at Tiafau.