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A memorable and proud week for Samoan students


If there’s one thing that the Samoan students of Sancta Maria College have been reminded of during Samoan Language Week for 2018 is that no matter where or how far you go, you can never forget where you come from.

They have carried this strong message with them through an incredibly moving and beautiful week that has seen them get the golden opportunity to embrace and share their Samoan culture with the school community and celebrate its rich history and the many things that make the Samoan language so special.

The theme for this year’s Samoan Language Week was “Alofa atu nei, alofa mai taeao.” Which means kindness given is kindness gained. Samoans like to pride themselves on striving to be friendly and loving people who centre their lives on Christ. And this desire to be good people means that when we share our love with others, we will also be able to receive love and that is what Samoan Language Week is all about – being able to spread alofa with one another.

It is not very often that the College commemorates Samoan Language Week and this year they went all out, with something held nearly every day of the week. In preparation, a group of Samoan students led by Destiny Mataafa got together to carefully plan performances and a big Samoan lunch.

Music and dance is a way that Samoans like to express themselves and to begin the week, Samoan prayers were read out and a traditional dance was performed at the full school assmbly, which was an amazing experience with a performance of exuberance and vibrancy gracing the stage. The dance was taught by Year 11 student, Nesiah Faalogo Tanoai and her cousin Danielle who took time out of her schedule to come and teach the dancers.

Then on Feast Day the Samoan students wore traditional costume and during the Eucharist sung a Samoan gospel song – ‘The Lord is my light’ by Adeaze. Throughout the week, people from around the school have been learning Samoan words and doing their best to get into the spirit with homeroom teachers and students greeting each other by saying ‘Talofa’.

The week concluded with the College teachers being treated to a delicious and mouth-watering Samoan feast with the foods that are at every Samoan gathering. This included chop suey, taro, coconut buns, pork buns and cocoa rice.

Many thanks to the student leaders and teachers who have been tremendous at putting everything together and for allowing the Samoan students to showcase their unique heritage. Being a minority group at the College, it has been nothing short of inspiring to see so many people wanting to learn, speak and acknowledge the Samoan language. It gives us so much pride in our culture and traditions and we only hope that in the future we will continue to celebrate and recognize Samoan Culture at the College.

Faafetai lava, Ia Manuia Tofa Soifua.

Shontelle Matano