After COVID this year’s White Sunday is a glorious fanfare of children
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The annual White Sunday celebration coupled with the Monday federal and local holiday — “Columbus/ Indigenous People’s Day” — adds up to a three-day weekend, and a busy one at that, as residents celebrate White Sunday, dedicated to the children of American Samoa.
Introduced in the islands by Christian missionaries in the 1800s, White Sunday has become a special holiday for Samoan families, with children being treated to the best — from White Sunday outfits to food served during family to’anai. It is always celebrated on the second Sunday of October.
Compared to last year with various COVID-19 restrictions, which included public gatherings and church services, this year’s White Sunday on Oct. 10th is expected to be the usual glorious fanfare of children performing skits and songs before their church congregations.
“While White Sunday festivities are aimed at celebrating our children, it is also a day of Thanksgiving where we honor our children for what they are: God’s gifts to us,” said Gov. Lemanu Peleti Palepoi Sialega Mauga, in his first White Sunday message as chief executive of the territory.
“As we celebrate ‘Lotu Tamaiti (White Sunday)’ let us recommit ourselves to doing more to cherish our children throughout the year,” he said, noting that as the old adage goes, “it takes a village to raise a child”.
“We, as a community, must continue to support their dreams, nurture their faith in God, and foster aspirations that will resonate well into adulthood,” Lemanu said. “We commend the diligent work for all who remain invested in building a better future for our children.”
AMATA COMMEMORATES WHITE SUNDAY
Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata wishes all Samoans in American Samoa, independent Samoa, and across the United States a safe and joyful White Sunday.
“Every Samoan knows the importance of White Sunday to our culture,” said Amata. “It is more than just a day of events, performances, and church feasts. It is a celebration of our religion and shared history. It is also an acknowledgment of the importance of our youth as the future of our faiths and our culture. We thank God for them and his blessings on our families.
“We celebrate White Sunday in a time of great uncertainty, with some families scattered around the world and unable to celebrate together. It is in times like this when we must celebrate all that we have overcome and the future we are making for ourselves.”
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE’S DAY
On the Columbus/ Indigenous People’s Day, “let us acknowledge the voyages and landing of the Europeans in the New World, while paying homage to the rich history, culture and traditions of the Native Peoples,” the governor said.
“I encourage you all to take time this weekend to reflect on the collective experiences and stories of all those who helped shape America,” he said and thanked “all for your hard work and dedication.” He wished all to have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.
WHITE SUNDAY IN SAMOA
(Source: Samoa Observer)
Samoa went into White Sunday celebrations mode on Sunday morning (yesterday in Samoa) with church congregations around the country honoring thousands of children.
For this year, church services were held within different denominations while shining a spotlight on the children.
Some church congregations had their children all dressed in white and led processions from a church hall to the church to start the official program. The children were seen performing different activities including scriptural recitations, biblical story reenactments and gospel dance performances.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) Chairman La’auli Leuatea Schmidt, who spoke on behalf of the Government, said White Sunday is a day specially dedicated to all the children of Samoa.
“Children are a gift from God,” he said in a Facebook livestream on Sunday.
“We care for and nurture our children so they may have a successful future. We also praise and give thanks to the Lord that we have celebrated White Sunday this year.
“I speak on behalf of our F.A.S.T. family to convey well wishes for all the children, from our leader the Prime Minister [Fiame Naomi Mata’afa], Deputy Prime Minister [Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio], Cabinet, and also the Speaker of the House [Papalii Lio Masipau].
“And also from our members we wish all the children of Samoa a joyous White Sunday but not only the children locally but also overseas; we pray that the Lord may bless you all with long life.
“And also in your academic journey and as grow up in our country so that your parents’ dreams may come true for you to be a flag bearer for your families, villages, churches and even in government.”
He added that the children are the future of Samoa, the churches and the Government, especially the young generation.
Laauli added that White Sunday is a day to celebrate the significant role of children while they continue to grow up and be a blessing to Samoa’s future.
“Children we send all our love; a loving parent will take care of their children to the best of their abilities especially because it was through God’s love that you [children] were gifted to our hands.
“We also thank all the parents in Samoa for nurturing all the children in our country.
“It is our responsibility as parents to look after the children, so they can grow up the right way.”
In honor of the holiday, Samoa News will not publish on Monday and the office will be closed. All advertising for Tuesday’s edition must be submitted by 1p.m today.
In the meantime, Samoa News online will provide any updates of breaking stories throughout the long weekend.
Happy White Sunday American Samoa — have a safe weekend.