Samoan traditions are eroding

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Dear Editor

Re: Why child labour exists in Samoa?

Samoa’s isolation in the heart of the Pacific has forged and maintained unique strong culture of sharing and family kinship in society for thousands of years, and this is the strength of any nation.

The strength that has been consistently eroded in all her facets by foreign influences based on foreign economic ideals.

A visionary government would have looked at strengthening the rural areas based on this backbone of the Samoan society - the fa’asamoa, a backbone of self sufficiency and sharing ... and I point at the rural areas, since the last remnants of the fa’asamoa is still thriving in that sector of Samoa and is where the capitalism ideals of foreigners are slowly seeping through!

The prevalence of the growing and increasingly serious child labour issues in Samoa is spreading like wildfire in Apia over the last three decades, and is the obvious consequence of the progressively embrace of foreign economic ideals by our leaders.

The foreign economic ideals that have rapidly burnt away the sharing culture of family kinship was fueled largely by the adoption of foreign policies by the present government, to the detriment of the fa’asamoa.

The socio-infrastructure and bureaucratic structures are in existence…it’s just a matter of realisation at the national level and proper channeling of appropriate developmental programmes more in the context of local culture than that of foreign ideals, and none of foreign interests.

It would mean developing small families subsistence and cash crops, developing village and district structures, developing the appropriate use of resources in land and sea; and education and health.

It would also mean - doing away with selling off customary rights of the people of Samoa from their heritage and divine properties - their extended-families’ lands.

In the fa’asamoa, the children of Samoa should be involved in families as treasures, but not as treasure seekers for family survival in the world of economic foreign ideals within Samoan soil.

 

Ropati V.

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