Kiwi family to remember White Sunday experience

A visiting New Zealand family are recounting their White Sunday experience, saying the Samoan religious celebration of children was beautiful.

Radu Goga, his wife Natasha and their two children are in Samoa on an eight-day holiday and are at the Taumeasina Island Resort when they were interviewed by the Samoa Observer.

They said they flew into the country last Friday and are enjoying their holidays, but it was the White Sunday celebrations that immediately had an impact on them.

Mrs. Goga said they have never experienced anything like White Sunday in New Zealand and attending a church service on the day, all dressed up in white, was a special kind of experience for them.

“Our best experience was the White Sunday where we dressed up in white clothes and we went to church, we also visited the Catholic Church, which was really nice,” she said.

According to Mrs. Goga, the singing in the church on White Sunday was beautiful to listen to and it was obvious to her and her family that Samoa’s faith is grounded in Christianity, which she said is good. 

“We found out that the people are very friendly, helpful and it seems like a nice culture.”

The Goga family hail from Palmerston North in New Zealand with Mrs. Goga a homeschool mother, who teachers her children at home. 

When asked how they learnt of Samoa, Mr. Goga said he got to know more about the island nation through his wife’s family as well as other Kiwis who know a lot about Samoa.

Since the family’s arrival last Friday, they have already visited popular Piula Cave Pool as well as the Tosua Trench. 

“For me the most out standing was the Tosua Trench which was an experience for me,” he added.

Mr. Goga currently works as a specialist endodontist in Palmerston North in New Zealand.

Their children, 11-year-old Aimee and 10-year-old Reuben, got to experience and see how Samoan children live.

Reuben said life in Samoa is different from New Zealand as everyone played outside. 

He also added that the White Sunday celebrations was a great experience, as it enabled the children to get up on stage to act and sing. 

But for his sister Aimee, she said the weather was different from New Zealand and she was amazed with the architecture of the Samoan traditional house (faleo’o).

She also participated in the White Sunday church service with Samoan children. 

“We don't have white Sunday in New Zealand but here it was a great experience I got from it, and also I got up on the stage with the kids,” she said.

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