27 Jun 2014

Samoa cultural festival ends today

8:42 am on 27 June 2014

Samoa's first annual schools cultural festival, involving 12 schools, finishes on Friday after 3 days of competition in traditional speech or lauga fa'asamoa, and traditional drama and dance.

The Samoa nei Galo festival is similar to New Zealand's annual Polyfest competition where colleges perform Pacific Island dances and other cultural activities.

Samoa ne'i galo festival

Samoa ne'i galo festival Photo: Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

Samoa's prime minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, speaking at the opening of the festival urged students to maintain culture because it is important for Samoa's identity.

The prime minister's comments come after concerns at the rate of change to Samoan dance and the way the language is being spoken by young people, due to the influence of other cultures.

The 12 schools involved are all from Upolu Island and education officials say there was little time to prepare for this year's event but hope Savai'i colleges will be involved next year.