On 21 November, 2005, I was really privileged to attend a Manu Samoa(http://www.samoarugbyunion.ws) social function in Twickenham, south Middlesex. I went with a Kiwi friend and co-worker. We took the train then a bus and a long long wokabaut before we found the place. The function was co-organised by another co-worker, a Samoan wantok with other Samoans in London.
The function organisers invited a group of Samoan dancers who I think were based in Germany to come over and add to the evening’s entertainment. The food was good, the company was great and the entertainment was a truly Samoan affair.
When explaining what taro is – this was the dish I particularly did not want to miss – I think it may have been the Team Manager who said, ” Well, if you are all wondering what this grey stuff is, it is called ‘Samoan steroids’” or something to that effect. The stuff that gives the Manu Samoa lads strength and power to take on any rugby team – present or future! The room roared with laughter as only a Samoan with a wicked sense of humour would attempt to bring the house full of fun lovers down. Next time you visit Honolulu, be sure to make a special trip to the Polynesian Cultural Centre (http://www.polynesia.com) and the Samoan village. I can guarantee you lots of laughter from the ‘comedians of the Pacific Islands’ – you certainly won’t be disappointed – it’s all top-notch entertainment from start to finish.
If you should find yourself stuck trying to explain our native foods as some West Indian friends call ‘hard food’, think creatively and give them interesting names to entice hardcore resisters to try some of our favourite root veggies like taro, kaukau (kumera), cassava called mogo (served with garlic, chilli or masala and found in most Indian restaurant menus here in London) etc.
Photos sprinkled over this post to remember that evening in Twickenham with the Manu Samoa lads. I did not attend their game and am not sure now whether it was against England or Wales. But a great time was had by all. I am so pleased I was able to be at their social function.
I don’t follow rugby that often since I don’t have a sports channel but it is always good to see some of our Pacific Island teams make it to the UK. Power and more power to our sporting lads!