Dealing with a spoiled generation

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou ,

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TOO MANY CHANGES IN SAMOA AND I DON’T LIKE IT: Matematelima Tuifaiga, 69, from the village of Tufutafoe, Savaii

TOO MANY CHANGES IN SAMOA AND I DON’T LIKE IT: Matematelima Tuifaiga, 69, from the village of Tufutafoe, Savaii

Matematelima Tuifaiga, from the village of Tufutafoe, Savaii, knows this much. 

That is Samoa is no longer the same. Much has changed over the years.

Facing the recent passing of her husband, Matematelima reminisces about the times she spent talking to her husband about the changes.

 “My husband just recently passed but I am still strong and my heart is still full of joy,” the strong mother told the Village Voice.

“I try to stay strong for my family and that’s why I am not sad, my husband is in a better place and if it’s God’s decision to call him back then there’s nothing we can do about it.

“I am 69 year old and my husband was 74 when he passed.”

Matematelima says that she loved sitting at home with her husband and talking about how different the next generation of children are compared to their time back in the days.

“One of my fond memories is sitting here with my husband and speaking about the changes over time,” she explained.

“These days are very different compared to those that have passed. One of the differences is that there are many different sicknesses that were never around back in the days.

“I hear about all the different forms of cancers, diabetes, high blood pressures and so many more. Those sicknesses weren’t very common in the past.”

Compared to the Samoan diet nowadays, Matematelima explains how simpler things were back then and how the food they ate was much better for people’s health.

“Back in the days, we would go to the ocean and get all our food which is good for the body,” she said.

“We got sea urchins, sea cucumber innards, fish, and other sea creatures which we all loved to eat. That’s why we never really got any of the sicknesses that are going around now.

“When we could afford tin fish then that would be our meal for the day. That was the golden meal back in the days but we relied on all the natural resources Samoa has to offer.”

Matematelima also explained how the imported food which is now part of our daily diets is very bad for people. She also spoke on how this generation of children are get too spoilt.

“Now we have so many important foods that cause so much harm to our bodies,” she said.

“We have chicken coming in that is pumped with so much fat. We have processed food with so much chemicals. That’s the difference.

“Back then when we found a broken umbrella, our mother could make a nice dress out of it but now we have children crying for new clothes all the time.

“When I was in school I would go with breadfruit, pawpaw and other small things for lunch and that was it. Those days were so simple but now it’s all changed.

“This is what my husband and I would talk about all day long. All the changes we have noticed around Samoa.”

Matematelima says that with one of the problems we now face being the high cost of living, the best way to deal with it is to go back to simpler days of living.

“Another change is the cost of living,” she said.

“Everything has gotten very expensive and it makes life hard for many. If we go back to the old days of eating crops from the land and resources from the sea then we will do alright.

“Complaining for expensive store-bought goods will not only get you sick, it will also affect you with the high prices.

“This generation are so spoilt; if they don’t get something nice and expensive then they cry. Too  much has changed.”

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