Passion for Samoan culture inspires Miss Arilei Couture
Miss Arilei Couture, Susan Mary Pale, is not really a beauty pageant "kind of girl."
But the chance to secure a platform to advocate for the preservation of her Samoan culture has inspired her participation in this year's Miss Samoa pageant.
The 25-year-old was born in Samoa. She is the eldest of four children. Her parents Faiesea and Savea Ioane Pale are from the villages of Vaimea, Saleufi and Puleia.
“I know all the contestants have joined with the aim of winning the Miss Samoa title but the only person I am competing with is myself,” she said.
“If the Samoan people were to ask: 'Why I should be the next Miss Samoa?' my answer would be, being Miss Samoa gives me the responsibility to serve our people in any way I can especially with finding ways to address various issues in Samoa."
"The pageant is the best platform for building confidence but it is also about encouraging each other as contestants.
“I am not really a pageant kind of girl but the significance is so much more than a beauty pageant."
Ms. Pale is a Customer Relations Manager and completed a Bachelor of Exercise and Health Science at the Australian Catholic University.
“An issue I wish to discuss is the need of emphasis made on preserving the Samoan culture," she said. “There is a great concern that as times change, it can affect our culture but I wish to strongly advocate that our culture is our identity, it is what makes us Samoans.
“We need to maintain it for the future generations because if we lose our culture, we also lose who we are as Samoans.”
She said that change is good and if Samoa wishes to move forward in terms of development but it must never have an effect on culture.
“Samoan dancing is one aspect of our culture that I am passionate about preserving, you see the way you do the actions is a form of expression in the most elegant way and portray the Samoan lady.
“I enjoy participating in every opportunity I get to showcase Samoa to the world such as the Samoa Tourism Roadshow in Sydney
Her hobbies include dancing, sports, exercising, reading and travelling.
She has travelled regularly as a youth leader and as a performer to various Pacific Islands including Samoa, Fiji and also taking part in church outreaches and is currently part of Sydney’s Premiere Pacific Cultural Arts Centre called Matavai.