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’, but I do remember thinking wow. How tragically beautiful.. how poignantly dramatic. Ifoga is a grand, theatrical, mother […]
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 […]
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?…