Celebrating the Golden Jubilee
Yes, you read it correctly. I do mean the Golden Jubilee because I am talking of the jubilee happening today; the one in Samoa.
Today Samoa celebrates the fiftieth year of its independence (Samoa was the first of the south Pacific countries to become independent) and the celebrations are led by a British band that everyone has heard of – UB40.
Samoa is dotted in the Pacific Ocean and, for us, is a long flight from our shores. Is it worth holidaying there? Some might consider it too far for a holiday on its own; others are happy to endure the time spent travelling there because, let’s face it, there is nowhere anything like it in Europe. That’s one good reason to visit the country. Many others tack on a trip to Samoa as part of a trip to see relatives in Australia or New Zealand.
Coinciding with the celebrations is the 5th Tatau Festival, an event held every June in the country and which lasts about a week. There is a strong connection with tattoos and, as anyone who visited the tattoo exhibition, “Skin Deep” in Swansea in 2010 knows, the art of the tattoo goes back thousands of years. For Samoans, tattooing is an expression of their identity and culture. Taking sometimes weeks to complete, there are different designs for males and females. Samoa is the only island in Polynesia to continue this tradition. And that’s another very good reason for Samoa to be on your holiday destination list and, in particular, to go in June.
Or you could pick the end of August when the Teuila Festival is held. This annual event showcases Samoan tradition such as fire knife dancing and the regatta of the fautasi (long boats which have provided the main transportation linking the islands.) and where else will you see that?
Samoa can claim – rightly – that because of its culture, traditions and location to be different from other nations. And being different is a good reason to visit any destiantion.
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Image courtesy of Kirkland Photos