AIGA – OHANA – WHANAU & FAMILY.
As the world keeps turning, with each passing day, a loved ones life may end, in turn some where a child is born and the cycle continues. Birth – Live, love, learn – and ultimately death. The evolving point in all of this is our awareness of family. Though not everyone can boast a good family life, nor able to say that family has been a positive influence upon them, – “though your experiences can enable you – to one day, have that Family of your own – where in support, laughter, sorrow and the whole beautiful mess can be yours to share with, giving to others what you never had!
Just for laughs. Photo. 2005. M.Lothian.Copyright.
Forty to fifty years ago, houses were built significantly smaller, though they housed large families. Not everyone had access to personal wealth, as we do now, though there was in the past, what might be described as for many, as a simple life! Things seemed easier for the most part, children were children and fun was found in the simplest of pleasures, in having little, nothing was wasted and there was less to complicate life, not that life was convenient – quiet the opposite.
Sure nothing is ever perfect – but it is a fools path to sacrifice peoples endeavours and values of the past for self serving wants of today. In doing so we lose what makes us strong -“family!” For the individual is deemed greater then the group and so being economically independent, we become culturally poor!
Society thus becomes all the worse for it!
Today houses are two to three times larger and families are considerably smaller, there’s two or more cars in the drive way, our consumption rate of products unprecedented and some times family members are more strangers then friends, retreating to their own corner of the house.
Though in a round room there is no corner, in a Samoan Fale’ (house) there are no walls and family is a ever present reality!”Fa’a Samoa” – meaning “The Samoan Way” is a system and observance of duty and interaction based on the sanctity of family. A way of doing things that serves to respect those that are elder and to meet the needs and welfare of the immediate and extended family. The family unit is revered and protected at all costs – so that one in need, finds that need met within there own family.
Samoa. Upolu. Photo. 2005. M.Lothian.Copyright.
Kids in the fale. Savaii. Samoa. Photo. 1999. M.Lothian.Copyright.
In this fast growing global society, we sit on the edge of great cultural and spiritual needs, needs that face future difficulties – that out weigh with importance, the wants of commercial business and it’s motives.
Through this economic and multi-national dash for cash, politically it would seem, a usurping of governing powers in nations take place, land and resources are acquired with with the moronic intent of pro-curring profit, with no consideration to the people of that land, a guise of welfare and social concerns is politically projected into the public, not the autonomy or independence these cultures require, every action it would seem works against any acknowledgment to history and truth, that is integral to the cultural prosperity and sovereignty of those people in question! ( generally speaking)
Samoan history speaks of a time not so long ago where the small pacific nation was subject to a western land grab, the French had laid hands on Tahiti and her islands some time ago, Hawaii’s Kingdom was to be overthrown illegally by force (in 1959 to be made a state of the US), Australia had been established as a British colony, like wise in Aotearoa ( New Zealand) Maori faced the same!
Both Germany, Britain and America sought control over Samoa, Germany did not persist in such matters and so Upolu & Savaii came under control of Britain, America receiving controll of Tutuila and Manu’a.
Despite the turbulence these times represented, the Samoan people and most importantly their culture and its practices, have largely remained intact till this day, a main reason for such is the living and deep rooted sense of “Fa’a Samoa” – this within the context of family, was never surrendered, illegally eradicated nor substituted by colonial forces, due to its operation with in the setting of Samoan family life, to be rid of such a culture would consequently mean the destruction of the family structure!
We today sacrifice family for personal pursuits, careers and thus money, where as what lead to Samoa’s independence in 1962, was the most personal pursuit of a nation, its independence – grounded on the foundation of its belief in the sanctity of Family and their God!
If you are seeking independence in life – perhaps it can not be found anywhere in this world outside of family, for purpose is found in serving something greater then ourselves and what can be greater then you or I , then in serving our families!!
Beach Fale. Savaii. Samoa. Photo. 1999. M.Lothian.Copyright.