Author: hamogeekgirl

Known IRL as Lillian (Lils, Lei'a) Arp, I'm just a Hamo Geek Girl, sitting behind a screen... learning, deep-thinking and typing up Samoan things.
The Matai Handbook Samoan Culture

How to Serve Tea to a Samoan Chief – and Why it Matters

You may have noticed. Many Samoan families have a preference for arranging their living rooms in a large, inward-facing oblong or oval formation, with the backs of all the couches and armchairs pushed up against the walls. If you know anything about life in Samoa, you might guess that this practice is just a remnant […]

The Matai Handbook Samoan Culture Samoan Language Alagaupu

12 Alagaupu (Samoan Proverbs) about Family

A few years ago I told you about my grandfather’s api (notebook) full of alagaupu that I wanted to study and really understand. I was going to look at twelve of those proverbs, consult with the Samoan cultural experts in my life then share with you what I had learned. At LONG last (island time, […]

Samoan Culture Samoan People Samoan Language The Samoan Islands

20 Most Asked Questions About Samoa – Answered by Samoans

We’ve all seen it. You’re Googling something to do with Samoa and you see from the search results that others have been asking questions about Samoan people, too – but they’re really basic questions that you thought everybody knew the answers to by now. Surely! But then you realize the world is a big place […]

Samoan Language

15+ Samoan names for your lover (from old Samoan love songs)

What is your favourite loved up pet name for your significant other? It is babe? Baby? Bae? Honey? Hun? Sweetheart? Sweetie? Darling? Dear? So many Samoan couples I know have adopted these English terms of affection, but until quite recently, I had no idea how many mushy nicknames we also have in the Samoan language. […]

The Matai Handbook Samoan Culture Samoan Language

The two Samoan languages

While I was slowly picking up Samoan from my family and friends, I’d hear references to another, mysterious, ‘higher’ version of the language. ‘It’s different from our everyday Samoan,’ …they would say. ‘It’s the language that matais and ministers use’. And I would think, OK, so… what is it? Do they just use bigger words? […]

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