“Hold on to our culture and heritage,” Semau Iafeta
Some say that change is good. However, some also believe that it is also often hard.
“Nowadays, the lifestyle in Savaii and Apia are similar.
“A lot of things that we have in Apia can be found in Savaii as well.
“Especially in our everyday lives. What people have in Apia can also be found in Savaii as well.
“For example, in terms of technology, what the people in Apia are watching is the same as what the people in Savaii are watching as well.
“And also in terms of cell phones and internet. And also all other types of communication technology. We now have all of that in Savaii as well.”
However, he believes Savaii is still stronger in terms of culture than Upolu.
“Here in Savaii, our culture and traditions are still strong. But we still see a lot of changes in our culture and way of life nowadays.
“We are starting to live like Europeans now.
“Most of our families now live in European houses. And when we eat, we used to sit down and eat, but nowadays, we use tables to eat.
“And you know how we used to have people sitting at the back with a bowl of water for the elders when they finish eating, we don’t have that anymore in most families.
“We now all eat at the same time. But that’s when most of us get blessings from our parents and elders from.
“We have so many changes in Samoa now. Especially with the youth. The way they dress as well, especially for girls. That’s what i think.
“I strongly believe that things will continue on to change in the next five to ten years if we don’t do something about it.”
Lastly, Semau believes that the matai’s and the village council hold the key to a right solution to this problem.
“There is no better way to solve it than the high chiefs and the village councils. They can help hold on to our culture and traditions and our fa’asamoa.
“We can still hold on to our heritage and still adapt to the changes with the help of the matai’s in families and villages.
“And also the women’s committee. If that starts to fade away, then we will lose our fa’asamoa for good.
“But if we have a solid foundation of strong village councils and women’s committee, we can still save our culture and heritage from being washed away.”