As a kid I did wish I was a palagi, so I didn’t have to do so many feaus. (Side note: An older cousin hated how us younger Samoans added an “s” to Samoan words to pluralise it, or “ing” for tense purposes. But that’s another story!) The life of a palagi kid, to my mind back then, was the good life, the easy life. No chores, no hidings, no Sunday School, no faalavelaves. Everything seemed nicer when I went over to my palagi friends’ houses. Nicer house, nicer furniture, heaps of food, heaps of toys and ’spare’ rooms even.
But as I grew up I noticed that various palagi friends never knew how to cook, or had never washed dishes (they had a dishwasher), or had no idea on how to iron a shirt. I realised we had been taught valuable skills when we were younger. Feeding the multitudes with whatever’s in the cupboards is no easy feat.
It would be five o’clock in the morning when we heard the roosters, that was our alarm clock. We had a seizable number so when we all got up, like a boot camp, we all divided into ‘units.’ The girls would tidy up where we slept, ie, roll the mats coz we slept on the floor, take the blankets and pillows into the room. And when i say ‘the room’ I mean ‘the only room’ in the house. That room was like a warehouse for all grandma’s precious thangs and that would include beddings and grandma would hold the key! Not everyone had the luxury of sleeping with a pillow (unthinkable these days huh?). For the most part you were left to your own devices to be a contortionist (head on your arms) or the tried and true ‘ali’ which was a ‘pillow’ of sorts carved out of wood. Boy did that do wonders for your neck *kales*…
…by Dre @ Sights and Sounds
It was another day out in the country. Aleisa to be precise. So peaceful with nothing but the birds sangin their hearts out from just about everywhere and anywhere (come to think of it, surround sound’s roots were from Aleisa lol). Apart from that, you would hear the odd chainsaw roaring in the far distance or someone calling someone who’s out in the bush. And no, I’m not talking about a cell phone or land line. It was our brand of it. You could hear the “uuuuiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii” resonating. Then quiet. Then a replying “iaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa” from somewhere out there in the koga kalo! That’s how you placed a call bush style!
…by Dre of Sights and Sounds
I remember mum would dress me up in a different dress every day, I had so many shoes that all looked the same (shiny black with a buckle) and those ‘frilly’ white socks lol. There was a photo taken nearly every Sunday of my outfit lol I was soooo photogenic ha-ha always had the thumbs up in my pose, and I had heeeeps of dolls that I couldn’t take out of their boxes. I must have had chewing gum in my hair one time because my hair style was like a mullet lol long black hair and a rough spiky fringe that was cut weird. My nick name was ‘saiga’ and I always thought that was an English word lol….
…by Jay Foo