Parents have a responsibility to pass skills to youth

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou ,

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LESSONS FROM THE PAST: Sasauli Peni, 82, from the village of Saoluafata.

LESSONS FROM THE PAST: Sasauli Peni, 82, from the village of Saoluafata.

The Samoan culture has certainly evolved.

For some people, they say it is dying a slow death.

The view is shared by Sasauli Peni, 82, from the village of Saoluafata.

Sasauli says the reason why our culture is dying is because there just isn’t any interest in it from the young generation

“The one thing I have noticed over the years is that the youth of this generation do not want to be involved with cultural practices,” she explained to the Village Voice.

“They don’t want to weave mats, handicrafts and learn other skills required passed down from generations. The good thing is that the youth have other things they can stand on from the government.

“I always tell the young ones to come and learn some of the culture while I am still here so that they can teach the future generation and so on.”

Sasauli says mat weaving is not easy and the youth really need to sit down to learn. 

She explains that you can’t just pick it up like a hobby; it’s an art.

“Doing tasks like mat weaving isn’t simple at all especially the fine mats,” she said.

“You don’t just get the leaves and then start weaving; there is a whole process to it. If you want it to be good then you boil it properly; if you want it white then you use powder.

“That’s what I am talking about.”

Asked how she learnt the skills, Sasauli says it was all taught to her by her mother.

“When I was young I was taught all these skills,” she said.

“My mother would invite me to sit by her and then she would tell me how everything is done. I would do the hard work so I can learn faster and she would just sit and asses me.

“These are the things you need around the house so it’s good to help your elders with it.”

Growing up, Sasauli wasn’t limited by her gender and she would do both the female and male chores.

“Although I am a female, I would do all the guy jobs,” she said.

“That’s how I was taught to do almost anything around the house. When my brothers were at school and my father was sick, I would do all the chores.

“If you ask me how to do anything then I will show you. I think the fault lies with the mothers for not passing these skills to their daughters.

“Right now I see all the girls just want to look good for the boys. They just sit lazily around the house and the only time they move is to make themselves look beautiful.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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