They are all Samoans

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Dear Editor,

Re: A timely warning from Leala 

A bit rich to be complaining about the high cost of living on one hand and then complaining about the business owners who actually do more than anyone else to lower the costs of living for Samoan consumers with their lower prices.

An “unstoppable wave” are all those Samoans who have moved to New Zealand, Australia and the United States of America. All immigrants. All theoretically taking jobs away from people who were there before them. 

Most of them not creating jobs but actually working in the factories and warehouses earning wages that could’ve gone to other New Zealanders or Australians or Americans.

A funny thing happened though. Those immigrants assimilated into those countries. Their children assimilated into those countries, growing up as Americans, as New Zealanders, as Australians. No longer fluent in Samoan or knowing much about their parents villages and many representing those countries especially in sports.

Samoa have also had immigrants to this country. Melanesians, Niueans, Tongans, Europeans and of course the much talked about Chinese. The “old chinese” turned into Samoans. So many Samoans now have Chinese surnames and have Chinese features. Those people are never identified as Chinese but Samoans. Rightly so. They and their ancestors have been here for 100 years.

I don’t really see any reason why these “new Chinese” would be any different. Assimilation is just a natural phenomenon. It has happened when Samoans move to other countries and it happened when immigrants moved to Samoa during the colonial period. The only immigrants who have ever been a real threat to the country were the Germans and New Zealanders who colonised the place and killed Samoans.

In time, these “new Chinese” will have children and their children will have children who grow up identifying themselves as Samoans, speak Samoan, marry Samoans, represent Samoa, and be buried in Samoa ... and then the cycle of life will continue and the next generation of Samoans will carry on the legacy of our homeland.

Let’s be real here, the Samoans of the 17th and 18th centuries probably spoke a much different type of Samoan language than the Samoans of the 13th and 12th century and the Samoans of modern day Samoa. The culture of Samoans back in history would be probably unrecognisable to the modern day Samoan culture of today. So it will be with the culture and the genetic makeup of Samoa in the next 200-300 years and so on.

 

Petelo Suaniu 

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