Le Api | The Notebook

A collection of thoughts and stories – mostly from a Hamo Geek Girl – exploring the language and culture of Samoan people.

The many uses of the Samoan ili

Samoans call this the ili, or fan. This hand-held version is Polynesia's personal cooling system, except in the often relentless heat of Samoa, I've noticed it's not the most effective tool for the job. It's just as well they make these ili so pretty then or I...

Tulou – the magic word in Samoan etiquette

Tulou – the magic word in Samoan etiquette

Our Samoan etiquette series is for people who are new to our culture or just want to brush up on the kind of behavior expected from 'good' Samoans. It's especially helpful if you want to make a good impression on Samoan elders, perhaps the parents of your (hope to be)...

For love of le siva Samoa

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 Samoan Ghost Story, with a chicken and a phone call

A Samoan Ghost Story, with a chicken and a phone call

One night my mom and I and some relatives were discussing all the crazy ghost stories we've heard from around the Samoan way - and it's not just a few. If I didn't know any better, I'd think all Samoans were haunted from birth. Spooky paranormal things just seem to...

Eating and standing in a Samoan house? I dare you.

Eating and standing in a Samoan house? I dare you.

I'll be the first to admit it. I eat on my feet all the time. Hello, I'm a busy lady. I don't always have time for a sit down meal, etc. and other excuses like that. Lucky for me, I'm too big now to get a bashing for such horrible manners... but I still try not to be...

Samoan Etiquette – You sit down, too!

Samoan Etiquette – You sit down, too!

In our culture it's really rude to have conversations with your elders if you're standing while they're seated. If you dare to be so inappropriate like that in a very traditional Samoan household, look out for flying saucers (followed by tea-cups, or spoons, etc.)...

Tali le Sua

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.

Learn Samoan Online (plus, How to Train Google to Translate Samoan)

[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.

Village One Samoana

Were you once a One Samoana ‘Native’? If you were a member of the One Samoana social network (which ran from 2008 – 2012), then a you may recognize some of these Native-written blogs from a heartbeat and a lifetime ago.

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