Born and raised in Samoa, UC Bachelor of Science student Victoria Faalilo says moving to Canterbury in 2012 was a challenge. She says reconnecting with her culture through the UC Pacific Development Team and CUSSA has been a big help. She shares her thoughts on the importance of Samoan Language Week.
Around this time every year, the Samoan communities around New Zealand celebrate Samoan Language Week. They celebrate through dance, songs and sharing stories, or even over a Samoan feed such as Sapasui (Chop Suey). This week is not only about the language but also about other aspects of the Samoan culture. The theme for this year is E felelei manu ae ma’au i o latou ofaga – “Birds migrate to environments where they survive and thrive.”
Being a Samoan is not about the tattoos or how well and graceful we perform the Samoan Siva. God, respect, love and family are some of the values that the Samoan people strongly believe in and that lie within the beauty of Fa’a Samoa. These are what we should value as Samoans and we should let them be our priorities.
The younger generations are so afraid of speaking because they’re scared of people looking down on them when they are not quite on their level, which is why I choose to quote this: “Learn to speak Samoan, not so you may sound Samoan but so you may feel the essence of being a Samoan” – Lemalu Tate Simi.
Wherever you go, Samoa will always be home.
Soifua ma Ia Manuia.
– Victoria Faalilo