Samoa kicks off 30th Teuila Festival online
Samoa officially opened its 30th Teuila Festival on Sunday evening to signal the start of a four-day program broadcasting through various digital platforms including television.
The pre-recorded programme started with prayer from Reverend Isaia Kalepo, of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa [C.C.C.S.] at Leauva'a.
The Minister of Tourism, Sala Fata Pinati delivered a keynote address that highlighted the reason behind the change of the official program for this year’s celebration.
“This year 2020 is significant for the Teuila festival, it marks the 30th year since the establishment of this festival by Government,” he said.
He added that the origin of the Teuila in 1991 was a way to attract tourists to visit Samoa and also for Samoans living overseas to remember their traditional ways and culture.
“However, due to our country currently implementing preventative measures against the COVID-19 global pandemic, this has led to us not hosting our annual celebrations.
“But we will use television and radio stations to broadcast programmes for four days and it is also an opportunity to watch and hear performances for the past 30 years.
“The Samoan economy depends heavily on tourism industry; this is evident through its $500 million contribution in the year 2019. Additionally, this is a huge assistance to our country’s development and betterment of its people.”
Sala added that due to the world facing a COVID-19 global pandemic with border closures, this has led to no tourists, which is impacting Government revenues generated through tourism.
“It all started from the measles epidemic last year but Government continues to assist and encourage so that we do not have so little faith because God still blesses Samoa.
“Fonoifafo Mcfarland Seumanu’s reign in serving our country as Miss Samoa and Miss Pacific Islands will continue for the next 12 months due to the pandemic.
“Despite her return to New Zealand to work as a registered nurse, she will continue her duties as crown holder for Samoa and the Pacific.”
He also acknowledged her service during the measles outbreak in the health sector and also accepting the extension of her reign.
“Additionally, we thank all the churches, villages, groups, business community and everyone for this year’s 30th celebration and may God protect our country against this disease.
The digital programmes will include 10 best choir performances from previous years who will feature in a choir exhibition and highlights from 30 years of the Teuila Festival, which will be shown on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 7pm.
The best of the past cultural entertainment, longboat canoe racing, Samoan comedy [Faleaitu], floral parades and variety shows will also be broadcast on Monday and Tuesday.
The 2019 Miss Samoa Pageant will be shown on Wednesday night while the 2019 Miss Pacific Islands Pageant airs on Thursday night.
A concert from Della and Lagi and special events will be held with the proceeds going to the Samoa Victims Support Group [S.V.S.G.] and Goshen Mental Health Trust and will be held at different locations throughout Teuila Week.
An Apia City Run is scheduled for 5.30pm on Wednesday at Taumeasina Island Resort.
Le Manumea Hotel will hold a Teuila Special Island Night cultural show on Thursday.
Hotels across Samoa are also offering special Teuila accommodation and drink special packages for the event.
The Digicel Teuila Festival – A Night out with the Stars - a series of community events will be held to benefit the S.V.S.G. will take place at Lava Hotel on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
On Friday night, Taumeasina Island Resort will host the Sina Extravaganza featuring Cindy of Samoa, Brown Girl Woke and performers from the Samoa Performing Arts and Creative Excellence.
Also on Friday, Le Vasa Resort hosts Teuila Festival Night. Hotel Millenia is offering nightly karaoke.
Soroptimist Samoa Ladies will host a curry and wine evening at Olivia’s Casual Accommodation on Friday.
There will be a Snorkeling Night at Matareva Beach Fales in Lefaga on Friday and Saturday.
Markets at Matareva Beach Fales Local market will be selling fresh organic vegetables, plants, and different handmade items.
The village youth group will be present to showcase and sell their local products from their community organic farm and other handicrafts. There is Coral Gardening at Matareva Beach Fales on Saturday.