Samoan culture is unique, says English visitor

Samoa’s unique culture attracted visitor, Liz Kendall from Surrey, England.

Liz was about to participate in the Samoa Tourism Authority Cultural Village experience in Apia when the Dear Tourist team met her.

“I only have two weeks left, I have always wanted to come to Samoa for quite some time to experience getting to know the islands,” Liz said.

“My first week, I stayed in Matareva Beach Fales and just enjoyed the beauty of the island and did a bit of swimming and settling in and got the chance to see a little bit of Upolu. I came across the Tiapapata Art Centre there was an exhibition.”

The 38-year-old said she spent three weeks in Savaii.

“One of the taxi drivers told me that if you have not been to Savaii then you have not been to Samoa, and so when I got there I rented a scooter and travelled around Savaii, which was absolutely beautiful.

“I felt that Savaii was more traditional and I loved meeting the people there, I also learned a lot about koko Samoa, which I have been trying to cook with. 

“I travelled around and stayed in different places and spent quite a lot of time in Manase,” she said.

Liz loved swimming with the turtles, which was a special experience for her.

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“I had the chance to be part of the ava ceremony and felt that I was really part of the community, which was mainly the reason why I wanted to come to Samoa due to how strong the cultural values were upheld here.

“But the highlight was celebrating White Sunday in Savaii, which was spectacular, everything was in white and the children were amazing.

“They sang so beautifully in the service along with their dancing, which was fantastic and I was impressed because I have never seen children singing and dancing in church like that before,” she said.

Her favourite Samoan food was the palusami along with the breadfruit.

“But because I am vegetarian I have had an amazing variety of fruits. I rarely drink but I tried to get the chance to try Taula but so far my favourite is Vailima,” Liz said.

“Samoa is unique because the land is owned by the Samoan people and that is rare around the world.”

She also noticed how locally produced food is available everywhere.

“There was one little girl who asked me if it was true that in England we pay for our food and I told her that it was true and she said to me that food is made available for free on land,” Liz said.  

“But I think an improvement that the tourism industry should look at and focus on is making the bus and ferry schedules available around the island and not in just one place.

“It would be nice if it was accessible everywhere so that tourists are made aware of what bus to take or what ferry to take as well.”

Liz added she felt like returning because there was still so much to learn.

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