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Samoa Independence Day 2023 (Samoa): Date, History, Significance, Facts

The date was originally set for January 1, 1962, but it was changed to avoid a conflict with New Year's Day.

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Samoa Independence Day 2023
Samoa Independence Day 2023

Samoa Independence Day 2023: Independence Day in Samoa is observed on June 1. On January 1, 1962, the country acquired independence from New Zealand, becoming the first Pacific island nation to do so. The date was originally set for January 1, 1962, but it was changed to avoid a conflict with New Year’s Day. Samoa is a Polynesian archipelago made up of two major islands. Its capital is Apia, its official language is English, and its population is projected to reach 198,410 by 2020.

Samoa Independence Day 2023: History

The Samoan path to independence began in 1961 with the signature of the Western Samoa Act. This treaty of affinity was signed by the then-new Samoan government and New Zealand. Samoa was initially ruled by the German Empire between 1899 and 1915. It was subsequently governed jointly by the British and New Zealanders for 45 years. The involvement of New Zealand in Samoa dates back to World War I in 1914. In response to a request from the British government, New Zealand’s expeditionary force landed in Apia at the time in question. This action ended German authority in Samoa and marked the commencement of a joint British and New Zealand colonial period.

New Zealand governed Western Samoa as a Class C Mandate under the trusteeship of the League of Nations, then the United Nations, from the conclusion of World War I until 1962. Between 1919 and 1962, Samoa was administered by the Department of External Affairs, a government agency created to supervise New Zealand’s island territories, including Samoa. The Department of External Relations, subsequently renamed the Department of Island Territories, was established in 1943 to manage New Zealand’s international affairs. During New Zealand’s rule, their administrators were responsible for two significant incidents: the Spanish Flu Pandemic and the Mau Movement.

First was the 1918 influenza pandemic, which killed an average of 22 percent of Samoa’s population and sparked resentment among the local Samoans. This outbreak was caused by an unquarantined New Zealand ship docking on Samoan soil. The second incident began with a protest by the Mau that was initially nonviolent, but escalated when the police intervened and executed two of their leaders. That day, at least ten persons were killed and fifty were injured by police batons and gunshots. This day is known as Black Saturday in Samoa.

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Five fascinating tidbits about Samoan Culture

Samoa has a single metropolis.

Apis is both the capital of Samoa and the sole metropolis in the nation.

Birds that are native to the nation

84% of the species of terrestrial birds in Samoa are found nowhere else on earth.

Tattoos are an integral aspect of their culture

Tattoos are a part of their culture, and even gender-specific tattoos exist among them.

Samoans enjoy performing kilikiti

Kilikiti is a form of cricket that European missionaries introduced to them.

Traditional Samoan dwellings lacked barriers

Their homes lacked barriers, which fostered a sense of community among the inhabitants.

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Samoa Independence Day 2023: Significance

Independence Day in Samoa is a reminder that we are a free and independent nation. Those who lived during the country’s colonial rule yearned for the day when they would be free, and we are grateful to enjoy the type of liberty they yearned for.

Those who fought for Samoa’s independence are historical champions, and Samoa Independence Day honours them as well. We can discover some of their names and family histories, and perhaps even meet some of their descendants.

Germany was the first nation to colonise Samoa, followed by Britain and New Zealand. Despite a lengthy history of colonial exploitation, the nation remains strong and united as it celebrates its 60th year as a sovereign state.

Samoa Independence Day 2023: Dates

Year Date Day
2023 June 1 Thursday
2024 June 1 Saturday
2025 June 1 Sunday
2026 June 1 Monday
2027 June 1 Tuesday