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Teuila postponement likely, Miss Samoa could continue

One of Samoa’s biggest events of the year, the Teuila Festival, is likely to be rescheduled, the Samoa Tourism Authority has warned.

The Teuila Festival, usually marked in September, showcases Samoa's cultural activities including choral exhibitions, siva and fire knife dancing, variety shows, concerts and tattooing.

The Chief Executive Officer of S.T.A., Fa’amatuainu Lenata’i Suifua, in a telephone interview with the Samoa Observer, said a meeting with the Ministers and Committee for the Teuila Festival is scheduled for next week to confirm the changes.

“The main meeting for the Teuila has been scheduled for next week but there’s a high possibility (for the meeting to be postponed),” he said.

“But we (the Teuila Festival committee and the Ministers) of course have to discuss this first in the meeting and confirm everything but yes there’s a high possibility for that.

“Every plan for the Teuila all depends on the convenient accessibilities of flights and so forth because we have a lot of people coming in for this event (usually).

“Because it won’t be good to continue the event with so many people jamming the event amidst the COVID-19.”

The country's closed borders have severely limited the number of international visitors to the country. 

Two major events of the festival are the Miss Samoa and the Miss South Pacific pageants which are both chaired by the Minister of Tourism, Sala Fata Pinati, and are also likely to be deferred if these changes fall through.

Fonoifafo Nancy McFarland-Seumanu is the reigning holder of both titles. 

According to Fa’amatuainu, Fonoifafo will have to be forced to continue to take on the crown for both the Miss Samoa and the Miss Pacific Islands for another year if the postponement pushes through.

Ms. Seumanu is aware of that possibility, the S.T.A. chief said. 

“Because if the postponement is to happen, then [Miss Samoa] will need to carry the crown for the following year,” he said

“She has a (permanent) job in New Zealand and if there are any key events she can fly back (anytime) but yes she’s okay.”

Attempts to get comment from Ms. Seumanu was unsuccessful.

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