GOVERNMENT officials were accorded a traditional Rotuman welcome on Wednesday arriving a day before for the Rotuma Day celebrations today.
Led by Primary Industries Minister Joketani Cokanasiga, the civil servants arrived at the government station in Ahau at about 10am and spent a few minutes with Commissioner Eastern Colonel Netani Rika at the district officer's home.
The pre-Independence Day celebrations on the island began with a mamasa hosted by Noatau and traditional dance by Malha'a.
Rotuma Council chairman Tarterani Rigamoto said they were privileged to have the minister and his delegation on the island for the special annual celebration.
"It's great to have them here. The mamasa is a traditional ceremony to mark the drying of the feet of visitors to our island after days at sea," he said.
"To have them here with us is great."
Col. Rika said a tour of government projects started on Thursday culminating in the much-anticipated celebration in Ahau.