Elderly mother shares her views

Life is tough. 

But it is meant to be that way to challenge us to get better.

That’s what Maota Lopati, 84-year-old mother and grandmother from the village of Sa’anapu-tai, believes.

Looking at what’s happening today, the mother of eight is particularly concerned about the increasing cost of living.

“Back in the days we usually bought most of the goods for 50sene, but as you can see nowadays, that’s not the case anymore,” she said.

“Most people are buying on credit everyday to survive, and that’s the truth if we talk about  the hard life, most of our people are struggling from day to day.

 “To be honest, all families in Samoa are struggling and my one is no exception.”

But hard work and never giving up is the key.

What do you think of today’s development in our country?

“I think the government is focusing more on development which is okay.

“But I think there is a need to create more jobs. This is the most important thing they need to look at.

Maota beleives that leading by example is very important.

“We have to set good examples,” she said. “I’ve done that with my children.

“As you can see, this is my life everyday, tidy up the house, pick up the rubbish outside the house, cooking...I mean everything.

She also wants to stay active and healthy.

“As I’ve mentioned before I have eight children and they’ve all grown up raising their own families. I wish for them to succeed in everything they do.”

She understands that old people are never too old to exercise.

“That’s true,” she happily said.

“You know back in those days we never had many types of equipment to do chores, cut the grass so we mainly used our old tools – hands.

“That’s the life we were brought up with, we exercise in doing a lot of chores and helping out to our parents.”

How is life in the village for Maota? 

She told the Village Voice that “village life is awesome.”

“In our village, everyone lives in beautiful and natural surroundings; there is land to work on to provide food and to take care of our family and church.

 “We live together as one family, we share our views together for the good of others especially the future of our children.”

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College hosts Samoan language week

Samoa College will mark its inaugural Samoan language week in a bid to draw its students’ attention to the country’s cultural practices and customs. College Principal Karene Faasisila, Vice Principal and staff are behind the week-long program of activities that also include the ava ceremony and cultural formalities (folafola sua, folafola toana’i, folafolaga saumolia, sula toga). According to Taumaloto Kaisa, who is a teacher at Samoa College, the program involves the whole school and doesn’t just target the teaching staff. "The college’s principal, Karene Faasisila, vice-principal and staff have initiated a Samoan Week activity not only to end off another academic term but also to highlight the importance of Samoan practices to the students," he told Samoa Observer in an interview. "The program isn’t only for the teachers teaching Samoa or is limited to students who only take Samoa. It involves the whole school with the aim of emphasising Samoan cultural practices because we have seen that some students haven’t experienced most of our practices." The week-long program this week comprises five main categories of activities that will run until Thursday. Category 1 activities highlight the importance of Samoan literacy through speech competitions, impromptu speech competitions, spelling competitions and debates. Category 2 focuses on cultural formalities such as the ava ceremony and others (folafola sua, folafola toana’i, folafolaga saumolia, sula toga) and Category 3 is Samoan sports and games such as cricket, collecting coconuts and weaving baskets. Mr Kaisa said it is important students experience and participate in Samoan sports and games in order to find out more about their origins. "The importance of students experiencing these sports is because there are a few Samoan statements that derive from Samoan games which are incorporated in speeches and formalities,” he added. "It’s important that the students experience these sports so that they’ll know where these statements come from and what it practically means. "The fourth category is a demonstration of handcrafting, weaving and printing. Students are taught on how to weave various Samoan crafts (ma’ilo, polavai, polasisi)." Students would learn the art of weaving an ietoga (Samoan traditional fine mat) and instead of tapa-making, consequently Mr Kaisa said the college had found it difficult locating an expert in that area who could teach the students which is why the elei printing activity was added. All the four categories will be implemented Monday to Thursday before the staff and student body converge on the college hall on Friday where there will be traditional performances with classes competing against each other.

By Hyunsook Siutaia 30/09/2020
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