Mother's Day floats on parade

In the lead-up to Mother's Day this weekend, the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development hosted a Float Parade on Wednesday to celebrate the importance of mothers' roles in Samoa.

There were seven women's committees in Uplou that participated and competed on Wednesday while another seven on the island of Savaii will compete on Thursday.

The theme for this year's event is Faapona a Ulua'i Ola or “The knot of first existence”, with seven sub-themes assigned to each of the seven committees upon which they based their decorations for their float.

The seven participating committees included Poutasi Women's Committee with their sub-theme of “O Tina ma Tamaitai o Pae ma Auli” (Mothers are the irons that flatten wrinkles in families); the Aufaga Women's Committee with their sub-theme “O Tina ma Tamaitai o Taitai Agavaa” (Mothers are Qualified Leaders); Falevao Women's Committee with their sub-theme "O Tina ma Tamaitai o Savali o le Filemu (Mothers are Peace Makers), Moamoa Fou Women's Committee with the sub-theme of “O Tina ma Tamaitai o Fai Oa” (Mothers are economic creator); Matatufu Women's Committee with their sub-theme “O Tina ma Tamaitai o le Fautua Ola” (Mothers are living advisors); Saleapaga Siupapa Women's Committee with the sub-theme of “O Tina ma Tamaitai o Faataimuaga ole Olioli” (Mothers are the Foundation of Joyfulness); and Vailima Women's Committee with their sub-theme of “O Tina ma Tamaitai e Fainuu Lelei” (Mothers raised village righteousness). 

The Parade started from in front of the Samoa Fire Emergency Services Authority (S.F.E.S.A.) Building at 7.30 am towards the FMFMII Government Building, where the panel of Judges began the job of judging the committees' handiwork and creativity. The three Judges included Erolini Eteuati (Faletua Malolo Manumalo Methodist Church), Fuimaono Rosalia Mauai (Women in Business Development Incorporated) and the Chief Executive of the Samoa Tourism Authority, Faamatuainu Suifua Faamatuainu. 

The welcoming speech given by M.W.C.S.D. Chief Afamasaga Faauiga Palepua-Mulitalo followed by a Prayer led by Reverend Utufua Naseri. The keynote address was made by outgoing Minister of M.W.C.S.D. Tuitama Dr Talalelei Tuitama, before the prize giving took place.

The first Prize award for the Best Float was won by the Falevao Women's Committee, with the second place going to Poutasi. Coming in third was Moamoa Fou, fourth went to Vailima, fifth was awarded to Aufaga and sixth equal were Matatufu and Saleapaga.

Another award handed out was for the Best Women's Committee of the Year and it was won by Aufaga Women's Committee. The Special Awards for the (Sui Tamaitai o le tausaga) village women's representative of the year was won by Pouliotaua Faaumu Meleisea of Poutasi Women's Committee. 

The Samoa Observer spoke to M.W.C.S.D's Afamasaga Faauiga Mulitalo who said it was a simple celebration to acknowledge Mothers in Samoa. 

“The main purpose of today’s event is to celebrate mother’s day this year. Every year we always have the Faalelegapepe where all the committees showcases and display their beautiful ietoga (fine mats) but this year we went with this event for a change, allowing more time for committees to weave more ietoga for the next Faalelegapepe," said Afamasaga.  

"We advertised the event on TV and the Radio for the first seven committees who are interested, to register. Our wish was for all committees to be involved but we are limited due to financial constraints. We created sub-themes for all the committees to base the decoration of their floats on. The themes are basically for Mothers' roles in families, churches, villages, organization, and communities.“ 

When asked to explain the meaning of this year’s theme, Afamasaga said “Grandmothers and mothers always hide food or money, tie it at the side or at the front of their ie lavalava (Faapoga-Knot) for their children. Whenever a child asked for food or money, mothers always supplied. So the meaning of the theme is, mothers save for living, mothers save to grow, mothers are first life for families.”

“Another important thing is, this year 2021 is the 30 year anniversary since this Ministry started in Samoa, and it's also 30 years since the Government celebrated the significance of a mother's role by having a Mother's Day holiday.” 

The winner of the Village Representative award, Pouliotaua Faaumu Meleise, thanked the Ministry for trusting her and choosing her to be the winner of this year’s award.

"I’m very humble to receive this special award, for my committee, my village especially for my family. Without their help and their support, I can’t do anything. There are more than a hundred members of our committee, with old members who always bring us together and lead us through inspections and activities, so I just want to thank them for their support. Also acknowledge the Ministry for the opportunities we have to showcase mothers' talents and gifts," said Pouliotaua. 

The C.E.O. for M.W.C.S.D. Afamasaga wishes all the Mothers of Samoa a happy Mother’s Day this year and acknowledged the support of the United Nations Development Program, the Women in Leadership Programme (D.F.A.T.) and the Australian Government (Australian Aid).

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