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Teuila Tourism and Cultural Festival gets into full swing

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – 04 SEPTEMBER 2023: The 33rd Teuila Tourism and Cultural Festival has gone into full swing after the week long program was officially opened by Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa on Sunday night.

“Thirty-three years ago, Samoa celebrated its first Teuila Festival. Three years ago, due to COVID-19 restrictions we had to transition the Festival to a virtual format. Tonight, due to God’s Grace, we are here to resume with the celebration,” said Fiame.

The Festival was created to promote and sell Samoa as a tourist destination and using Samoan culture as an attraction for tourists to the country.

“The Teuila Festival whilst it is a celebration dedicated to honouring our Samoan culture, it is also utilized as another platform from a tourism perspective to exhibit to the world, Samoa’s point of difference – what differentiates us from the rest of the world – a unique and hospitable culture, our humble way of life, and who we are as a nation founded on God,” she said.


Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa at the prayer service and choral exhibition on the Festival opening on Sunday night.

Most of the events are happening around the Tourism Village and Friendship Park with Food & Handicrafts stalls, entertainment, traditional sports, tattooing, story telling, fire knife dancing and even a health hour.

Miss Samoa Contestants Community assimilation
The 10 contestants for this weekend’s Miss Samoa Pageant were handed over to representatives of 10 districts who escorted the girls for the whole day going through the traditional Ava Ceremony and experienced village and visiting the schools, the elderly and also inspected village development through the $1 million District Development Project.

Couture at Afega
Couture at Afega

Miss Lavashe Couture is welcomed by the village chiefs and orators.

The Miss Samoa pageant is the finale of the Teuila week long program and this year for the first time, the pageant will have two nights of competition.

One is a public showcase of the Puletasi and Sarong categories at the Friendship Park on Wednesday night and the final categories on Saturday where the new Miss Samoa will be crowned.

The contestants will each have a float on Friday morning where a colourful parade of decorated floats will take up the morning from the Vaisigano Bridge and along Beach Road.

Teuila Tufuiopa veges gardens
Teuila Tufuiopa veges gardens

Miss Samoa New Zealand visiting the Tufuiopa families vegetable gardens funded under the government’s $1m Dollar Village Development Project.

Also part of this years’ Teuila Festival is the Samoan Language Week with a full programme running at the Cultural Centre, Malifa and a day at Saleolologa, Savaii and two weekend sports events – the Teuila Tag series and the Crossfit Apia Teuila Games.

Not only tourists are visiting Samoa this time for the Festival but groups of overseas based Samoans who have timed family events such as reunions and celebrations to be in Samoa for the weeklong festival.