We all know what comes with time… change.
For Su’a Sopo, 60 years of life has given him the opportunity to witness firsthand the changes Samoa has gone through both physically and culturally.
Coming from the village of Apia, growing up in town gave Su’a quite the insight of Samoa’s Central Business Districts (C.B.D.) transition over time.
“The only reason many people are poor is because Samoans are trying to live like foreigners,” he told the Village Voice.
“I have lived and grown up in the town area all my life. I have seen all the changes from when I was young right up till now in my old age.”
“I won’t lie to you; there are so many changes in Samoa now. Back in the days when life was so simple and easy compared to nowadays.”
Su’a also saw change in the way the young people did chores and served elders.
“Gone are the days where you would tell the youth to go do the umu for the family and they would go quickly to do it,” he said.
“They would then serve the food to their elders and the church ministers. That has changed now; nowadays we elders just wait for our time to pass.”
“Respect and the act of serving is no longer what I am used to. Those days are now in the past and are gone.”
Even when it comes to the way people ate, Su’a says so much has changed.
“You know back in the days we would use traditional table mats to serve food to the elders,” he said.
“Now we just eat on top of the table without it. The way food is served now to others has changed. There has been so much change in how we live life now.
“Looking at the town area I have noticed there has also been a lot of work going towards it.”
According to Su’a; one of the reasons why people in Samoa struggle is because every buys food rather than growing it.
“Another reason why people struggle a lot in Samoa is because so much money goes into food,” he said.
“Back in the days we never needed to spend much money on food. If we get breadfruit and coconut cream then that’s what we eat from morning till night time.
“But now people complain if they only had breadfruit and coconut cream for the day. Times have changed and so has the mindset of the people.
“Everything has to be bought these days even though food grows freely on the land. We have a lot of breadfruit which can use for food.”
“It’s like the children of these days are in charge of what we should do in the family. We should start teaching our children so they can grow up and have the same mindset that we had back in the days.”
His advice to Samoa is for everyone to stop complaining and work as one like back in the days.
“Samoa, don’t complain if you think you can’t do something,” he said.
“Just work together and you will be able to deal with so many problems you are currently facing. Fathers and men of the house, work hard to look after what comes tomorrow.”