Father's Day a chance for Samoa to honour its elders

While fishing under the hot afternoon sun on the eve of Father's Day, Joe Sefo, a father of six, was reminded of that old Samoan saying: ‘Your blessings come from looking after your elders.’

As Samoa marks Father’s Day today, Mr. Sefo, from Tufulele, will reflect on how caring for your elders when they don’t have strength is the key to endless blessings.

“I greatly believe that as we grow up, we all move on and have our own families but in the Samoan culture, we are strong on taking care of our parents and grandparents," he said on Saturday while working near Malua.

“The belief [of] our people is supported from the Bible in Exodus 20:12: ‘Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you'.

"These are the words that have guided us in our lives to serve our elders until they are no longer with us."

The 38-year-old said that he supports his family by being a fisherman and a farmer.

“My role as a father motivates me to wake up early every morning to go to my plantation and do my daily chores like weeding the unnecessary grass that is hindering my crops and vegetables despite the heat from the sun on my back or whole body.

“In the islands, we have generations of farmers.

"Our ancestors have depended on our plantations for survival and, even though it may not give us riches, it puts food on the table and gives us a source of income to live by and we are very grateful to have something [rather] than nothing.

“The only reason why I go out fishing is to cater to the needs of our elders who [crave] seafood once a week which is healthy and that prolongs their health.

"I can gladly sacrifice my time under a blazing sun or a rainy day just so I can make them happy."

Mr. Sefo acknowledged God for the blessings upon his family because they are able to survive through Him.

“I believe that commemorating Father’s Day is significant because without the role of father, a family becomes incomplete," he said.

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