White Sunday (excerpt) by Karen Phelps
I go to church every Sunday but today is a special day because it’s Lotu Tamaiti or White Sunday.
Lotu Tamaiti means ‘children’s Sunday’. Usually in Samoan culture adults come first but on Lotu Tamaiti kids get to take charge and run the church service!
Today all the children will perform in their Sunday School classes in front of parents, relatives and friends. We have been practising for weeks. We have rehearsed our singing, practised memorising bible verses and we will also put on a play. It’s heaps of fun because there are over 100 children at my church and we all get to hang out together.
Lotu Tamaiti is sort of like a second Christmas. Children are spoiled for the whole day. It is even said that parents must give us anything we want!
In the morning I’m so excited that I get up really early. The reason it is called White Sunday is because all the children have to wear white. This is the most important colour in any church in Samoa because white symbolises a pure heart.
All the children are given brand new clothes to wear on Lotu Tamaiti. This year I am going to wear a white puletasi (a lavalava and a top). I chose the fabric with my Mum and then somebody sewed the puletasi for me. Mum helps me to get ready and do my hair.
By now we’re running a bit late. Our whole family quickly piles into the car. I’m a bit nervous about having to say a memory verse in front of the whole church. What if I forget what I have to say? I keep practising all the way to the church.