Public call for return of annual Fautasi race
Reporter Cedric Ah Colt and Photographer Kitiona Utuva talk to members of the public about the Fautasi race and if it should become an annual event.
Leituala Ea, 54, Samatau.
"It really gave us the chills when I knew it was Fautasi racing on Friday. The Government should consider bringing the event back annually to take place every Independence Week in Samoa back in the day. The Fautasi race on Friday took me back to when I was young on every independence day, we always look forward to watching the competition. It always brings the spirit of independence and freedom from the colonial powers in the past decades. I wish this will again be the start of bringing it back and I look forward to next year's competition."
Lesoa Kovati, 53, Sagone.
"The Savai'i people are happy with the competition on Friday and I got to be honest that I have come a long way to watch the 'Tolotolo a Tamauli' win the competition. Yes! I agree to bring this practice or culture back because this holds the spirit of the independence of Samoa. There were only a few Fautasi(s) that competed but t would've been nicer if there were over 10 Fautasi competing like every year back in the day."
Lopeti-Robert Lei Sam, 17, Vaimoso.
"I grew up with Fautasi races that we spend the days on. I remember roaming around as a kid and my parents go out looking for me everywhere because how they were busy and focused on watching the race. If I was born with it and it is considered to be a foundation game to the independence, then we can not just forget about it but bring it back because it is also part of our culture."
Fa'alaniga Tolovae, 38, Tulaele.
"I agree with the question, even though I missed this year's Fautasi race because of work. However, I wish for the Cabinet and Government to reconsider the decision of bringing it back. Everyone back in the day look forward to every Fautasi competition every year since 1962. No one wants any other competition more than their expectations of every Fautasi racing every year. I want it back."
Leilani Sagote, 33, Leauva'a.
"Some of us did not know of the racing. Usually in the past ten years, they advertise it on every platform including Facebook, television, radio, and more. But some of us did not know if there will be any Fautasi race. Tolotolo Tamauli won, I am proud of that but I just wish we are back in the early 2000s, everything was okay. No pandemic, no issues, no disputes, good government, and everything was normal. I stand for bringing it back and we wish to watch the upcoming competition in 2024 independence in Samoa if there will be any."
Monica Sagote, 22, Leauva'a.
"I agree with my sister, Leilani Sagote. The Fautasi race has been in Samoa for many years. It might be a burden to our elders that started the talent if we just leave it and forget it this easily. Bring back the Fautasi Race to be an annual event like before."
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