Samoa is meant to be governed by matais
Makelusa Leavasa of Falealili is certain.
Without the work of chiefs and Village Councils, Samoa would be in a state without laws since the Police cannot deal with all the problems of today.
Speaking to the Village Voice, he said Village Councils maintain peace and harmony within villages in Savaii, Upolu, Apolima and Manono.
“The Village council system is still the true Samoan way of solving problems and maintaining law and order for peace in our country,” he said
“Back here in the village, village councils look after the village and guide the behaviour of everyone especially the young people.”
“Their role is very important when differences in the villages arise; we advise and try to straighten up anything.”
“So people in our village mostly depend on us for decision making and we also support them in delivering any programmes they want.”
Makelusa said Samoa is going through so many changes and some of them are not good.
“Especially when we are looking at technology,” he said. “The developments in our country, the influence from overseas... these things can’t be all good.”
This is why the chiefs need to maintain the Samoan culture.
“I think if we are strong enough we can still maintain our way of living.”
“Samoa is meant to be governed by chiefs and that’s how it should be.”
He went on to say that “the rude behaviour of some young people is sad.”
“You can see everywhere the growing number of drunks on the road especially at night time and their behaviour tells us they need to learn more about the culture.”
“Yes we all know that people are free to do whatever they want to do, but we are Samoans.”
“We know our culture very well, we know how to respect others and yet the behaviour of many young people here shows that they are unreliable.”
Asked about the difference of life in the village he said our culture is strong in the villages.
“That’s the big difference for me, for example when you go to Vaitele, Falelauniu.... most of the villages there don’t have village council so you can do whatever you want.”
“You’re in your own world.”
Looking back, Makelusa said everything was easy back then.
“I don’t know about other villages, but back in the days, we all listened to our elders.”
“We learned how to do things by observing our elders, like weaving, how to carve handicrafts and the list goes on and on.”
“They made decisions for us and our role was to advise them and support them.”
“I think we should go back to those days, going back really helps to bring back our cultural values and practices.”
“From what I believe, village councils together with the fa’asamaoa can control.”
“Personally, this is another good way to maintain our culture and heritage.”