Samoa Cultural Village Officially Opens

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Tourist can experience cultural demonstrations

By Zaskiya Lesa

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Oct. 20, 2012) – The Samoa Cultural Village, a place that promises to provide tourists with a glimpse of genuine Samoan life – has officially opened.

Located inside the Samoa Tourism Authority compound in Apia, the Village hopes to give tourists a taste of what's to come when they visit the villages throughout Samoa.

The village was introduced during the Teuila Festival this year. It allowed tourists to take part in the ava ceremony, witness the umu demonstration, traditional tattooing, carvings, weaving and handicrafts making.

Since then, many tourists began to stop in front of the STA’s tourist centre asking questions about traditional Samoan customs. But there wasn’t anyone who could explain.

So the STA thought up the Samoa Cultural Village.

Now, from Monday to Thursday, tourists can visit the STA grounds to enjoy a culture show and witness how traditional weaving, tattooing and carvings are done. The umu demonstration only takes place on Thursday.

The first group to enjoy the Culture Show came from Aggie Grey’s Resort, in which STA hopes to partner with other hotels to have guests come and learn about Samoan culture, values and customs.

Many of the guests found the culture village to be very informative and interesting.

Elizabeth, who is visiting from Poland said; "I love it, it’s really nice. My mother-in-law is Samoan so I knew a lot about the culture already, but it’s great to see how it’s actually done."

Tole’afoa Chris Solomona, guided tourists through each station as he explained the process of Samoan life.

"This village is to teach tourists about the traditional values of the Samoan people and to give them a better understanding of our culture and values," he said. "It’s to showcase our tradition and culture to them, not about taking anything away for the private sector, but providing tourists with a free explanation about different forms of our culture."

What STA hopes for is that the tourists will take away something from their experience in the culture village and share with others back home.

They want tourists to spread the message and promote Samoa.

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