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 […]
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 […]
Today marks the 51st year since (Western) Samoa gained independence. (Well, it actually happened on the first of January, 1962, but we celebrate it in June). For a relatively young island nation, Samoa has a rich and spirited history, and every year on this day we remember with gratitude the long and painful protests our […]
She is colourful, this lady, from her photos to her words to the imagery she paints in her lyricism. She’s one to blow up our village blog feed with her wild and prolific postings, but spend some time in her poetry and you’ll discover a woman who is overcoming loss and tragedy through the flow […]
When I was in high school my family moved to New Zealand so we could live close to my ageing grandmother. An added bonus was that just about all my mother’s 8 siblings (and their children, and their children’s children) lived in the same neighbourhood, and for as long as my grandmother was still with […]
Visiting family is always a great thing – catching up on the stories, updates on family members, sharing food and sometimes sharing tears, all in the name of ‘being together’ is no doubt one of life’s simple pleasures (if you are close to your family lol)
And then there leaves the question of etiquette. Sure, most families would have some type of give and take, the token of love can be in a simple plate of food, a nice chocolate cake and even just a bucket of KFC! But what is the procedure and requirements when you visit a family in Samoa? What amount of gifts or monetary ‘mea alofa’ is required?
Because someone beat me to the punch of “Checkers” lol, I moved on to Bingo. What a game. I actually have no idea to play the darn thing. lol Even when I yelled out “BINGO” because obviously I had bingo’d, thanks to Aunty Fuala’au who marked my paper along with her eight. Can we say […]
The nimble fingers dance across the board with hands showing wear and tear of a hardworking life, a dedication to working the family plantation, building the family home, the hand of a bible holding childhood, disciplinary cuts of a hand upon a child – once strong and useful to the Aiga these hands are reduced to the competition of a quick thinking mind and the reasoning of veteran conscience that dictates the outcome of this simple game.
To the naked eye of an outsider, the old men playing Mu is an equivalent of a bunch of alcoholics, but if you look deeper it is more than just a game that these souls play to fade away the lazy hot Samoan afternoon, but a last element of competition to show superiority and being a man in this culture of hierarchy and duty bound soldiers of a village, family, country.
When your in love with someone, you do all your lovey dovey cutesy couple things, wierd – for some reasons Samoans here in Samoa just don’t do that.
Kids walk to school with thier friends and hold hands, girls can hold another girls hand, a boy can hold another boys hand – but a girl and boy holding hands is kaukalaikiki (considered cheeky) LOL
So unless we are either pro-gay and lesbian, it is instilled in our culture that holding hands with your girlfriend or boyfriend is just something ‘you do not do’ (even if your married!)
In Apia, there are approximately 6-7 elevators. Yesterday, I was thrown back into reality of how a simple thing as operating an elevator is still a foreign experience for our own people, an elderly lady entered the parking entrance of the Government building in Apia and was going to level 1, Eira and I had to get off at ground level (our inability to walk up 1 flight of stairs…is something else) but as we stepped off the elevator this lady became very scared and started to shake visibly, Eira held onto the door from closing and the lady asked with a tear in her eye how she was supposed to get to level 1…