It is once said that a nations’ culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.
On Thursday, the students of Samoa College came together as one, to celebrate the importance of the Samoan culture.
The Samoa College grassland was covered with a variety of beautiful colors of puletasi and elei worn by every student, cheerful faces from the crowd being entertained by a good show put on by the students and not forgetting the smokes of the umu, coming from the kitchen, where everyone put all their efforts together to get it prepared.
Our Samoan culture is something that defines us and the purpose of celebrating it every year is for the future generation to be reminded of the life that our ancestors have created for us.
That is the belief of Taupau Tuala Selu, Head of the Samoan Department for Samoa College.
“This day, Samoa College is celebrating the importance of our Samoan culture by making these children look back to our traditions and customs back then especially with the work we do in kitchens (umukuka).
“The kind of movements that we used to deal with back then in the kitchens, is different to what we have now.
“So in the kitchen, there’s a variety of actions there but nowadays, our children have no knowledge about how to prepare anything anymore.
“We see so many different materials such as ovens, tables and all that but in the real Samoan culture, during preparation, it’s nothing like this.”
He added that another change he has seen is our roles as women and men.
“For the women, they are the ones responsible for cleaning up everything inside a kitchen.
“In terms of entertainment, nowadays in the Samoan life; the ma’ulu’ulu is only for Samoan women because that is where they showcase their role and talent of doing craftworks.
“For men, they do the sasa and fa’ataupati because they are the ones serving from the back. They are also the one responsible for all the hardwork and that is why they must always act and work in a fast pace.
“We can never put men and women all together but in this day and age, they are all put together, mixed up together.
“In the olden days, we have strict curfews and rules where you must always stick to playing your own role, whether it’s in the case of entertainment or the work that we do, the status quo has always been maintained.”
He added “but I think today’s highlight was the parents getting that opportunity to witness the work that their children were doing at the back here (umukuka) and you know, they ended up lending a helping hand to their children, telling them what to do and showing them how to make the palusami, how to prepare the pua’a (pig) and cleaning up everything.
“So it’s interesting to see parents showing their children what to do so hopefully they do the same in their own homes.
“That’s why this day is so important, because it’s not just about learning what it means for culture but it’s also about actually seeing the Samoan culture comes to life.”