While many people prefer living close to town, Sene Etipule begs to differ.
The 40-year-old from the village of Falefa told the Village Voice that life in the village is better than life in the urban areas.
Why is that?
“Life here is peaceful because of the strong village councils we have,” said Sene. “There is a huge difference between life in the village and life in Apia. In Apia, most villages don’t have village councils hence why there are a lot of problems in Apia.”
“There are some villages that are under the guidance of strong village councils as well, but most of the villages don’t.”
“For example, we have curfews here in the villages in the evening and during that time; you won’t see anyone walking around in the village.”
“That’s the time for them to be with their families, do evening devotion and have dinner.”
“But if you go to Apia, you see the youth sitting on the side of the roads or walking around with rugby shoes and in some villages you find the youths sitting on the seawalls drinking at this time.”
“And that’s why I love and I prefer living here in the villages.”
Nevertheless, another aspect of living in the village he admires is the strong cultural values and practices in the village.
“We have guidelines here in the village to control the behaviors of everyone in the village. Therefore, you hardly see any girl walking around the village with shorts.”
“This is a good way to maintain our culture and heritage.”
Moreover, Sene said he loves the village life as he is used to it.
“I am used to the lifestyle here in the village,” he said.
“You have your own roles and responsibilities. For me, I wake up every day and work on my plantation. We depend so much on the land to provide for us.”
“Life is easy here in the villages.”
“You won’t starve. We have plantations and we also depend on the sea for food. We sell coconuts and other things to make money.”
“But for life in the village, you need to have a job in order for you to survive. And if you don’t have a job, you will struggle.”
“And even if we only eat taro and koko Samoa for dinner, that’s fine with us and we still thank God for his blessings.”
“Some of the people in the urban areas don’t do any chores at all and that’s why they struggle.”