Why you shouldn’t become a Samoan matai (and also, why you should)

As I was learning about Samoan culture, I remember deciding that I wasn’t interested in gaining a taupou title (the highest ranking female role in a family/village). Instead I wanted to become a proper matai – which still isn’t common amongst women.

But then I did some research and a lot of observation… and I evaluated my lifestyle and attitudes towards family and village affairs… and then I had to finally admit to myself that I’m not cut out to be a matai. It’s not a role that I could wholeheartedly commit to, for number of reasons.

If you’re considering putting your name forward for a matai title, maybe have a think about what that would really mean to you.

Tali le Sua

In our more formal Samoan language, when someone accepts an offer of food or a meal, we refer to that as, “le taliga o le sua.” (Imperative: Tali le sua)

I only fully understood the use of the phrase when my mother shared a memory about my grandfather, from back in the day.

45 Biblical names – for boys and girls – in the Samoan language

Today’s Samoa is founded on Christianity, so it’s very common for us to give our children Bible names. Because of our Samoan pronunciation, though, it’s not always clear to the western ear which Biblical characters our names refer to. And some of these names are so widely used in our culture that they’re just Samoan…

Be careful when you praise Samoans

In the western world, complimenting someone on their appearance or accessories is a great way to strike up a conversation. It doesn’t always work like that for Samoans. I remember one time, I mentioned to a relative that her bag was pretty, and then when she tried to give it to me, I was like,…

Scarlet Lies – Mostly to Herself

A Review by Hamo Geek Girl WARNING: This post contains (a FEW) spoilers from the book, Scarlet Lies. So here’s why I don’t read romance novels. You know, those chick-lit ones narrated by yet another sad, lonely, neurotic female who lusts after an impossibly perfect demi-godly man, who by some miraculous mercy of fate happens…

7 Reasons you should watch ‘Return to Paradise’

During a family reunion in Samoa ages and ages ago, a whole bunch of us piled onto a couple of those yellow wooden box buses (you know the kind) and took a tour around Samoa. It’s one of my most favorite childhood memories. We had grandparents, great grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and bratty babies all…