Samson, well known internationally for his promotion of Cook Islands culture, is pleased to be back with the Rakahanga team and is enjoying being a part of Te Maeva Nui for the first time since 2015, when the festival marked the 50th anniversary of self-government in association with New Zealand.
The expert choreographer said one of the highlights for him so far this year had been watching the younger members of the group taking charge of the festivities and their performances.
“For me the most exciting part of doing an event like Te Maeva Nui is seeing the young ones step up to continue to showcase our Cook Islands culture.
“These are the next generation who will be the ones to steer our culture ship and continue to ensure that what makes our culture so special and unique is preserved, but also is added to along the way.”
Making up this year’s group are those who travelled here from Rakahanga, those who are based in Rarotonga and some who have travelled from Australia and New Zealand.
Samson said this diversity was a benefit for the group.
With only a few days left in this year’s celebrations, Samson said it felt like only yesterday that the group assembled.
“It honestly feels like just yesterday we all arrived and now we are nearly finished. It has been such an enjoyable experience and I am so proud of how we have performed as a group.
“Te Maeva Nui is simply about all of us coming together as Cook Islanders and expressing ourselves and our culture.
“It is a wonderful celebration (and) we should all take the time to enjoy and appreciate what it means to be a Cook Islander, in the process.”