What we can do
Re: How did our life of fa’alavelave become a source of pain?
What is the biggest cost at a fa’alavelave? It is the pigs and cows that come in the refrigerated containers at the wholesalers and the abattoir in Apia. It is also the envelopes given out to every tom, dick, and harry.
The simplest and easiest solution to cut costs is:
1. The government or villages to ban the pigs and the cows. Ban the suatalisua; the palapala malo. Back in the old days, there were no cows in Samoa. Cows came from Europe via New Zealand. Cows are not indigenous to Samoa. As for pigs, people grew their own pigs.
2. Ban money as well. Ban the envelopes. There was no money exchanged back in the old days prior to Europeans coming to Samoa.
All that is needed is the exchange of fine mats and the sua taute.
Those are the simplest solutions above but nobody is brave or courageous enough to seriously suggest this.
If the government banned these things, the villages and big fish matai through the country would be outraged.
Certain business interests in Apia profiting out of this madness, this false economy, would also be outraged.
So nobody is serious about alleviating this pain. At the end of the day, when push comes to shove, we Samoans will carry on.
The leadership must come from the top. These big decisions must come from village leaderships. Unfortunately, too many village matai earn a living by simply turning up at any faalavelave in the village for their pay day.