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

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, … Continue reading Be careful when you praise Samoans

Wake up! It’s 2016! [video]

2015 is out the door in a couple of days – can you believe it? I’ve been spring cleaning our Samoan Lyrics database, finding all these musical gems from back in the day. And then I rediscovered Aaradhna. First it was the lyrics for ‘Down Time‘ and ‘I Love You Too‘ – those throwbacks to … Continue reading Wake up! It’s 2016!

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 … Continue reading Scarlet Lies – Mostly to Herself

Lies are Beautiful, When the Truth Hurts: Scarlet Lies

A Review by Keep it Hood WARNING: This post contains (a FEW) spoilers from the book, Scarlet Lies. OMG so where do I begin with Lani Wendt Young’s new book Scarlet Lies! Can you believe I read this whole book in one night as I was hooked and couldn’t let it go as I just … Continue reading Lies are Beautiful, When the Truth Hurts: Scarlet Lies

One Samoana’s first ever YouTube upload – Party in Mangere

So the uploading side of YouTube is completely new to me, but I was at Showtime Mangere 2014 last week with my secret phone camera and I captured this gem that I just had to share! The Taimua Malaeola Youth choir is a real treat to watch. They filled the entire evening with music, even … Continue reading One Samoana’s first ever YouTube upload – Party in Mangere

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 … Continue reading 7 Reasons you should watch ‘Return to Paradise’