“Life back then was easy, simple and safer.” This is the opinion of a 74-year-old woman from the village of Faletagaloa, Savai’i when she was approached by the Village Voice.
Aletaseta Lotu who stays with her children and grandchildren at Faletagaloa says life in Samoa has become very complicated and expensive. This was not always the case.
“Life was easy back then,” she said. “Especially for our children. All we needed was pawpaw and coconut for their lunch at school and we didn’t have to buy school bags from the shop. The bags we used back then were made from coconut leaves.
“But nowadays, sometimes the children don’t want to go to school when we don’t give them money. A lot has changed.”
She went on to say that there have been a lot of changes in the villages as well.
“The leaders were very strict back then and everyone listened to the matais in the village and that’s why everything was easy back then.
“And the matai’s were able to control all the behaviors of the youths and there was a solid foundation in terms of unity within the villages back in the days. There were hardly any troubles back then.
“But it’s different nowadays. We have so many challenges within the villages and especially with the youths. I think this is because all the changes we have in our societies have changed the mindsets of our children and the way they behave.”
She believes alcohol is another reason there a lot of troubles with the youths nowadays.
“Most parents cannot control their children when they are under the influence of alcohol. And this is the reality. Most of them (youths) that are causing troubles in the villages and also in town are usually under the influence of alcohol. This has been a major problem in our societies nowadays.”
Despite all these, Aletaseta said she is living a happy and peaceful life in the village.
“Life is great here in the village,” she said.
“I am still strong and healthy and we live a peaceful life here with my family. It’s good to do chores around the house to exercise to avoid being sick.
“This is the kind of life we are used to. We do chores from the morning till the evening. That’s how life is in the village. We all have different duties and responsibilities as a family, but we all work together for the betterment of our families.”
Aged 74, Aletaseta is still strong and she believes this is because of how she lived her life when she was young.
“I used to stay with our church minister back in the days when I was still young,” she said.
“I spent most of my life living with them and serving them and they gave me their blessings as well. So I am grateful to them and also my parents for showing me the right way to live my life and that’s the same path I taught my children and grandchildren.
“I am also grateful to God for his never-ending love and guidance upon us.”