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!

Been to the Ville lately? Some excellent Native blogging going on there.

  We’re looking a little different these days in the village part of One Samoana… AND, we’re blogging up a storm! When you’ve got a moment, grab a cuppa something nice, get comfortable and come catch up on some excellent Native blogs. ~*~ From American Samoa-based educator, Dacia: Bi-racial Samoans Professor Pedophile IA E AVA … Continue reading Been to the Ville lately? Some excellent Native blogging going on there.

Original Fiction: Familiar Stranger

After 8 years of an arranged marriage, Leah and Iosua barely speak to each other any more, but still live under the same roof for the sake of their son Amalika. One day Iosefa, Iosua’s identical twin, shows up at their door. He’s needing a place to stay for a while after a four-year stint … Continue reading Original Fiction: Familiar Stranger

Original Fiction: Forbidden Fruit

Esera was a promising graduate who abandoned his career as an architect and followed his heart – embodied in the wild and beautiful Mercy – to small town Texas. Love was worth the sacrifice, he reasoned. Six years later, this same love just about destroys him when he walks in on a ‘party’ Mercy is … Continue reading Original Fiction: Forbidden Fruit

That New Car Smell…

Everybody loves that new car smell… just like everybody loves the googly-eyed, love’y dove buzz of a new relationship. What happens when the fragrance begins to fade, though, and reality – the monthly payments, the WOF & registration, parking and petrols costs, etc. – sets in? Do we throw away the car? Lots of us … Continue reading That New Car Smell…