When I started calling myself Hamo Geek Girl (omg, almost 10 years ago) it made some people uncomfortable. “Do you know the history of the word ‘hamo’?” some asked. “Isn’t that offensive to Samoans?” asked others. Yes I know. Hamo was not my most favourite word, either, but I took it back! For a number […]
I was hanging out with some new friends today over at the Auckland museum (they were celebrating the end of Samoan Language Week in New Zealand) when someone heated up a plate of mmmmmmm German buns. In case you don’t know what they are, German buns are a deep fried, crispy on the outside, round […]
I know it’s been a looooong minute since I’ve posted anything here – I’ve got a full explanation for that, coming up soon (JJW lol) but my friend just sent me this clip to check out and I fell in love all over again with the Samoan siva.
A few years ago I wrote this introduction to the world of the Samoan matai. More recently, I started a series on the path to becoming a Samoan chief… as in, how do you get chosen (against other eligible relatives) for a chiefly title? How do you prepare for the bestowal ceremony, or saofa’i? What […]
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.
[If you invest in this Samoan Language coursebook by Galumalemana Afeleti Hunkin, a small percentage of your purchase will also help support One Samoana].
Happy Samoan Language Week!
To celebrate, I’m posting here something I shared a recent Notebook Samoana newsletter. I love that the number one request I get from our readers is, “Please help me learn our language!”
We’re working on it :).
In the meantime, other amazing Samoans have developed some great online tools for keeping the Samoan language alive. Check them out here.
A while ago I wrote an introduction to the concept of Matai, Samoa’s complicated system of chiefs… …mostly because there’s a lot of confusion these days, especially amongst us who were not raised in “fully Fa’asamoa” families, about the role of the Samoan chief. Some people hear you’re a ‘chief’ and assume you’re the leader […]
I should really put the word “traditional” in quotation marks, because what is traditional anymore? I’ve heard some stories about weddings back in the ancient, less Christian days of Samoa. Don’t quote me on this stuff, cause I can’t remember who told me these tales, but apparently… True(ish?) Story Time In the old days, a […]
So Google Translate speaks Samoan now.
How amazing is that?
We make up such a small percentage of the world’s population, and so many of us are raised outside of Samoan-speaking communities, that we’re at risk of losing our basic language skills.
And then Google blesses us with this gift.
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 […]