Monday, July 11, 2016

"Five reasons to visit Samoa with a teenager"

I never got to experience the author's reason number 4 . . .

But, heck, why not just send that teenager to the Samoan islands by himself as my parents did?

Here are three more reasons why teens + Samoa = Awesomeness:

6: Food

No visit the Samoan islands would be complete without Samoan food: koko, talo, ufi, fa'ausi, ma le fe'e, as the missionaries of yesteryear used to sing about. Based on root and tree crop staples, fish and shellfish, a few terrestrial animals -- primarily pigs and chickens, with a heavy use of coconut milk, Samoan food can't be beat for its healthfulness. The modern inclusion of refined flour and sugar, rice, and tinned and fried meats into the Samoan diet, though delicious, has taken its toll on Samoans' health and should be enjoyed with moderation. Can't make it to Samoa? Try your hand and making some Samoan food at home.

7: Language

As the Italian of the Pacific, as I once heard it called, Samoan proffers its learners a simpler grammar than that of English or any of the Romance languages (Italian included) but a depth and richness of cultural use requiring a lifetime of study and mastery. Want to win your way into the hearts of Samoans anywhere in the world? Learn their language!

8: Culture

Fa'asamoa, or the traditional Samoan way of life, is founded on the vafealoa'i, or relationships between members of society. Every Samoan has many relationships: family relationships, relationships within the village or ex-pat community, relationships within the Church, and so forth. And with any given relationship each member has rights and obligations to maintain the status of the relationship. Additionally, the way a Samoan comports himself or herself within his or her relationships will not only reflect on the individual Samoan but on the family, village, Church congregation, etc. The maintenance of each kind of relationship requires every Samoan to behave respectfully (fa'aaloalo) according to traditional etiquette and protocol, norms and mores. Thus, it has been observed that Samoans are a lot less individualistic and self-centered than Westerners tend to be, a lesson, no doubt, that many Western teenagers could benefit from learning.

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