Thank you for a reminder

Lau Afioga Seuseu Fata Faalogo,

It is with a humble and grateful heart that I write this letter to the editor. 

Firstly, I wish to thank you for your reminder to me of le feagaiga ma le va tapua'i, our Samoan sacred covenants of respect that eluded me in my quest to voice what I felt at the time, was a dismissal on your part of Madame Minister's keynote on International Women's Day. 

A keynote that was not only highly informative but equally educational on the state of women's affairs in our country, one we should all be invested in if we are to consider ourselves advocates for the plight of girls and women. 

In all fairness, I had no right to be as brash as I had been towards you. And you did not deserve to be so severely accused by someone you didn't even know. Someone who used academic jargon to belittle you. And in the end, made a fool of herself. 

Lau Afioga Seuseu, e moni lava upu o le vavau, "E poto le tautai, ae se lona atu i ama." Even a wise fisherman will mistakenly pull the bonito up on the outrigger side of the boat. And may I add an old adage of my grandmother's, "Vaai lau afi si'aula i maguasua kagaka". Girl, beware that your fire might give off an acrid smell of smoke to those around you. 

Lau Afioga Seuseu, I have nothing further to say, other than to thank you once more for educating this vociferous writer. Reminding her that we need to be more mindful and gentle in our assertion of ourselves. And to be aware always that what distinguishes us from an outsider's dogma is our unique perspective as Samoans, clothed with our faasinomaga, our cultural reference that informs our identity and who we are. 

As we remember Christ's sacrifice this weekend, let us be resurrected anew, moving forward.

I wish you and your family a very Happy Easter.

Soifua ma ia manuia,

Papalii Sia Figiel

Samoa Observer

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