Mothers carry out their duties with joy

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 11 May 2020, 3:00PM

Mother’s Day was not much different for two women married into families at a remote village on Upolu on Sunday.

While other mothers were busy with their dresses and styles for church, for Tala Feagaimalegalu and Lalaai Europa, they had better things in mind, the cooking for the Sunday toanai. 

The women are referred to in Samoan as nofotane. And in the traditional Samoan setting, nofotane women are usually expected to cook and do all the chores for the families they are married into.

Not that Tala and Lalaai were complaining. For them, they say cooking on Sunday is the norm and they enjoy doing it because they love their families.

“For me, it’s the same as being at my own house," said Tala.

"I cook for my parents and family and nothing’s different from doing the same for my husband’s family. Being in the kitchen this Mother’s Day and cooking for my children and my husband’s family is a blessing really. God blesses us in different ways.”

For Lalaai, she was pleased to celebrate Mother's day with her three children. 

Her day started at 5am on Sunday when she woke up to help prepare the umu.

For Tala, she woke up at the same time but to make the vaisalo (a green coconut porridge) for Mother’s Day breakfast.

“The role of a nofotane in my knowing is to cook for the parents of their fiancés and I have never felt left out in this family,” she said.

Waking up early either to the kitchen or to the plantation is nothing new to the two women.

They also believe that the way to blessings is through service. And it begins within their families.

Asked what they wanted for Mother’s Day 2020, Lalaai she just wanted a good time with her children.

Tala said she just appreciated the gift of life and the opportunity to celebrate motherhood.

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 11 May 2020, 3:00PM

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