Five years after it was founded, the Palolomua Group is finally reunited at the Tuanaimato Gym 3.
The two-day reunion serves to strengthen the bond between members of the Group.
Founder of the Palolomua group, Aunese Uelese said the purpose of the reunion was for them to better understand each other because they shared the same passion of keeping the Samoan culture alive through the writings they posted on social media.
Palolomua means to carry on the Samoan short stories that have been told by our ancestors in ancient times.
The 38-year-old believes there have been short stories told to not only entertain the public, but at the same time for the young minds to understand their culture, heritage and the meaning of respect.
“You can easily spot a Samoan by the way they hold themselves, so when they are talking to each other on social media, they speak with respect towards the other, it is all part of who we are and what we believe in as Samoans.
“It is important for the new generation to know where they come from, their roots and who they are as the Samoan people. Understanding their ancestors and it is better for the new generation to look back and show respect and come home, this is home,” he said.
Mr. Uelese says when their group got together for the very first time; it felt like they have known each other for a very long time and how they interact with the other.
It was not easy for him in the past few years to get everyone onboard, but with the common interest that they had, it made the situation simple.
“It took me time to gather and get everyone onboard, nothing happens overnight or within a year. I try my best to hold our Samoan people together who are based everywhere in the world, doesn’t matter where you are from, New Zealand, Australia, America or even here I try to get them together.”
Their group has rules that they all need to abide by which has kept them going for five years and has also created a following of 24,000 on Facebook.
“We are very strict with our rules in our group; we do not disrespect the other or even undermine the value of the other person through the things we say. No fake pages, no bullying or any abusive words,” he added.
Mr. Uelese is not married and he lives in Adelaide, Australia for almost 29 years now.
For him to be here in Samoa is a blessing, especially when he can make a change.
“We have so much respect for our ancestors in the past. So we want to continue not only telling stories, but writing like what they have done for us in the past. This is so special for us. I know we are going to grow.”