Satapuala church youth celebrate

The Methodist Church at Satapuala on Saturday organised cultural activities for its youth in a bid to remind them of the significance of traditional customs and values.

As part of the church-run program, youth members performed and led different cultural activities which the church elders said will remind them of the essence of Samoan culture and share ideas on how to instill and grow with them into adulthood.

Senior member of the Satapuala Methodist Youth group, Ati Eteuati, told the Samoa Observer in a telephone interview that it was not the first time for them to do this and will not be the last.

"It's not the first time we've done something like this and by doing these cultural practices, we intend to remind the youth of the importance of culture and bring back what we believe has faded from our culture," he said.

"Such things are respected between villages and within communities and families, and to teach the youth how to build a family the traditional way.

"Some youths these days still do not know how to pega [divide] a whole chicken using their hands when they're too old to not learn about these things."

The church’s youth also participated in role playing, such as when two villages greet each other in a camp setting. They also went through Samoan practices of refreshment preparations and greetings using Samoan speeches as well as the ava ritual, in which the traditional beverage is shared with important guests.

Mr. Eteuati said men and adult males who do not know how to do these things bring disgrace to themselves and their parents, especially in rural villages like Satapuala where culture is highly respected and practiced.

Close to 200 youth members participated in the traditional activities and shared knowledge on  Samoan culture.

"In this time of international lockdown and financial downturn, we believe it's the best time for Samoa to bring back what's lost from their culture, and we really hope that Samoa does consider its culture and respect it regardless of the changes," Mr. Eteuati said.

"We hear that a lot has changed in our cultural practices, the customs and the culture and we understand but it's changing the way our children are behaving and we should do something about it.

"Once again, our culture plays a huge role in our communities so we shouldn't take it for granted."

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