Witnessing an independence parade for the first time can be a truly exciting experience.
Especially if you compare it to your home country, where, in fact, not many people seem to celebrate something comparable.
Germany has the day of unity in the beginning of October, which is more or less a good argument to stay home instead of going to work, but despite from that, there is not much attention paid to this day.
It is somehow regarded as weird to be proud of your German nationality, at least when being among other Germans. The only time Germans seem to be proud of their heritage, is when the National Football Team is playing.
All of this might be rooted deeply in the country’s tragic history and a certain inevitable shame that goes along with it, but that is a different story.
When you watch all those Samoans march on the morning of the 1st of June, only a short time after the sun has risen, you are reminded that it can be a wonderful thing to celebrate your own heritage.
The reason being that at that moment, all the people are the same, they are united in their heritage. From young children to university students up to the elderly people in Samoa, all of them seem to enjoy their own culture and country during the parade.
Concerning the fact that all the people who attend this ceremony are there because they actually want to, makes it a very special event.
You don’t see the impression of being forced to take part in the faces of the many students which march on the independence parade. You simply know, they are proud to be there and to honour their country.
Somehow, you let it happen and you find yourself feeling proud as well, even though you are only a visitor of the country and you are only witnessing the independence parade from an observer’s point of view. There are so many different organisations, schools and societies gathered on that day, that just the mere number of people thrills you.
This huge amount of people, smiling, marching and shouting out their proudness have a somewhat catching impact on you. An impact that might in fact be hard to find on other places of the world.
Samoa might not be the richest, most sophisticated or best-situated country on our planet, but it is one of those who can be proud of its history and its still dignified culture that can be traced back for ages.
This National proud is a wonderful and even more valuable thing that every Samoan should be aware of, because not everywhere in the world can experience such beautiful parades without being reminded of the guilt of the past.