Sapapali'i celebrates Christmas with Culture day

The spirit of Christmas was well and alive on the big island when the nation paused to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Thursday. 

At Sapapali'i in Savai'i, the whole village assembled on Christmas day to celebrate through a culture day competition which started with a float parade in the early hours of Friday morning. 

This was followed by a small service that was conducted by Reverend Auatama Esera of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S.) at Sapapali'i. 

Guided by the theme, "Let the light of Jesus shine," the youths and children of the village were divided into three different teams and were judged according to the different categories that were organised by the Committee. 

According to Papali'i Ene Isa'ako, President of the organising committee, the celebration this year is a norm for the village of Sapapali'i. "This is an annual celebration for this village and this congregation," Papali'i told the Samoa Observer.
"The aim is to keep the spirit of Christmas alive and well here on the big island and especially in our village.

"Not only that, but this is a program that has been organised to occupy the time of our youths to make sure that they are spending it well by celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ in a perfect manner instead of mucking around doing other things. 

"Therefore, we came up with the idea to have this program as an annual event to celebrate Christmas. 

"Every year, we come up with different themes to guide our performances. For this year, the theme is "Let the light of Jesus shines" which is perfect as it is also the theme that is highlighted by our government and the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa. 

"This theme is fitting for this year's celebration and we looked at the different interpretations of the word "light" or "malamalama" in Samoa. 

"As you know the word "malamalama" in Samoan can also mean knowledge and that is something we also looked at in preparing for this year's event. 

"We wanted to enhance the children's and the youth's knowledge of who they are as Samoans, their culture, and their identity. 

"Most importantly, we used the opportunity to educate them and remind them of the health precautions they should take to prevent us from the virus that is affecting other countries of the world. 

"Usually every year, we would encourage everyone from the village to participate but for this year, we decided to minimize the number of the performers because of the orders of the states of emergency for Samoa."

The three judges for the event were Associate Minister for the Ministry of Health, Tofa Li'o Foleni, Papali'i Li'o Ta'eau-Masipau, and Li'omatua Siaosi Sala'a. 

President Papali'i acknowledged the ongoing support and commitment of their church minister and the elders of the village in making sure the celebration is a success every year. 

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