An awesome time to be Samoan

By Enid Westerlund 17 November 2022, 10:00AM

Can you feel that electric atmosphere in town and every household this week? If it seems like everyone has a spring in their step, even if it is not pay day, it’s real. It’s an awesome time to be Samoan.  

Is  there also news about Samoans traveling visa free to New Zealand, even if it begins with just diplomats and VIP? I think so!

First Toa Samoa made history by being in the finals of the Rugby League World Cup with Australia for the first time, a top tier player in the world. While there is bit of a laughter from the Australians when they think of Samoa ever winning this cup, our boys making it to the finals is inspiration enough!

If that is not inspiration for the game, I don’t know what is. For the first time we are called a ‘sleeping giant’ and a ‘rugby league powerhouse’ by the most cynical of critics.

For a few minutes, the world stopped when our national anthem played and the sky opened during our Siva tau last Sunday morning. I bet everyone was on the edge of their seat, as the emotions played out, the screams and the victory dance at the end were all memorable.

What an awesome achievement for a tiny nation! If there ever was a time to be proud of being a Samoan, it would be this week. Isn’t it encouraging to be in the international news for winning and making it all the way to the finals?

At the end of the day, the whole Pacific should be loudly cheering us on from the roofs of their cars with their own flags flying. Pacific pride is something that has never been questioned. It unites us all as people of the Moana.

Samoa going to the world cup finals is no small feat, it means that it is also possible for all our Pacific neighbours and all other dots on the map. Why not Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji next time too? Where brown faces are well represented and the big boys asking about where we come from and how we came to defeat the goliaths of the game?

Whatever happens this Sunday, I know we will leave it all on that field. The boys have played with heart. I especially liked Coach Parish’s answer during the after-match interview, where he said that the win was ‘inspirational, passionate and an unbelievable effort’ . That the team never gave up and that is what we are all about.

He’s right. I can only imagine the number of matai titles and the villages who will claim Parish if he wins this game! I can already imagine the celebrations here and abroad if we win. An event, a moment to be remember. Where every Samoan flies their flag with pride and tell the world where they come from.

So, prepare your flags and horns, it will be an amazing game. Win or lose, Samoans will still celebrate.

We are so close that we can taste that victory! There will not be a dry eye in the house if that happens, the emotion will run onto the streets and we will not be able to contain it. We might even have to cancel all church services as people come out of their houses and spill onto the street with all their neighbours to celebrate. The whole of Samoa will paint the town blue and red.

Remember to be safe, celebrate responsibly because winning will not make this a justification for stupidity and breaking the law. The police will still do their job and arrest you if you are driving an unlicensed vehicle or breaking the speed limit. Have an awesome week and go TOA!


Toa Samoa
By Enid Westerlund 17 November 2022, 10:00AM
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