What makes us Samoan

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Dear Editor, 

Re: Here’s your chance to see Der Papalagi

Being Samoan comes from the heart. Color of skin or one’s features does not define a Samoan. 

Put my family together and there are dark complexion cousins, nephews, nieces as well as blue-eyed brown skinned ones, or cousins that look Chinese. 

What defines being Samoan depends from what perspective one takes. 

For me, it is one who participates in the fa’a Samoa, our aganu’u of taking a family si’i to a wedding, a funeral, or the ceremony of bestowal of a family title (saofa’i). 

Being Samoan is one who puts family first before one’s self; reaching out to those who need help be it financially, moral support, spiritual guidance, or just someone to talk to. 

A Samoan like myself who can laugh at the shortcomings of our culture and people, and say: “only in Samoa.” 

A golden thread links these elements of life into a fabric, or a ie toga, revered as a “measina o le atunu’u.” 

These threads of our lives embody who we are as a people. 

Can a palagi uprooted from Deutschland feel the essence of being Samoan.... yes. Once a person embraces Samoan culture and accepts its flaws and ambiance, the heart transforms into a giving one, a caring one, and a resilient one with a le kea attitude when people think otherwise of you. 

Malo Barbara ma Christian Durst. Manatua pea le motto o si tatou atunu’u : Fa’avae le Atua Samoa. 

That is the utmost power that anoints our island home with so many blessings!

 

Ben Fue

© Samoa Observer 2016

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