How’s your Fa’asamoa?

Le Gagana Samoa = The Samoan Language

We refer to the Samoan way of life as ‘Fa’asamoa’, but we also use this word to talk about our Samoan language knowledge, as in… “My fa’asamoa has improved a lot since we moved to Samoa” or, “Her fa’asamoa is really good, even though she grew up in New Zealand.”

How’s your fa’asamoa?

This beginner-level quiz is part of the first Samoan language quiz to feature in our Notebook Samoana emails, except this one has answers!

Samoan Tradition: Ifoga

One Samoana Throwback: First published Jan 4, 2009, this post explores a tradition of forgiveness like no other. It’s a fact of life: humans are attracted to drama… which makes me – and apparently, Samoans in general – oh so very human. I don’t remember when I first heard about the Samoan tradition of ‘ifoga’, … Continue reading Samoan Tradition: Ifoga

Matai: A Complicated System of Chiefs

Matai is the Samoan word for leader, or chief, or even (in the poetic sense) father. Samoan society is organized by family, and each family has its own matai titles, which are connected to certain districts, villages and plots of family land. And that was the short version of this story. In reality, Samoa’s matai … Continue reading Matai: A Complicated System of Chiefs

The Samoan way

No wonder then that I clashed so much with my Samoan-people parents. While my friends were casually hanging out at each other’s houses, socializing outside of school hours, I was on relative lockdown. When I innocently suggested that I was going to get my own place as soon as I turned 18 – like all the other kids were doing – it instigated something resembling Armageddon in our house, waged mostly by my mother who insisted that I would live at home till I was married, and even then why would I want to go anywhere? …And I always had to watch what I said about my teachers in front of my dad… something I FINALLY learned after his like 4th random appearance at my school (followed by a staff member’s subsequent apology to me).

At the time I just thought it was ’sooooo unfair!’ Why did my parents have to be so weird?…

…from Samoan Like Me