4 Jun 2012

Samoa continues independence celebrations

7:12 am on 4 June 2012

Samoa has celebrated fifty years of independence over the weekend with a variety of competitions and displays, many with a strong cultural theme.

Many who have spoken have emphasised the need for Samoa to maintain its culture into the future.

The Methodist minister who delivered the opening prayers on Independence day itself said that without its culture Samoa would not continue to grow.

It is part of that culture that only Matais, or chiefs, can stand for parliament.

The Justice Minister, Faime Naomi Mata'afa, says that was a choice made by the people of Samoa.

"I do see a time when there will be sufficient confidence, that whether you're a matai or not a matai, you'll be able to make your contribution to the leadership of the country. But then, the Samoan, that is what our society is so maybe it's not such an issue."

Celebrative events today include a marching girls competition, an international Samoan cricket competiton and a Chinese acrobatic show.

Tomorrow will be the last day of festivites.