back in my day, we had to read thick texts and do actual research and create our own timelines to make sense of the whole 'contested' Polynesian/(some Melanesian) settlement.
Now.....Coconet, an online thingi here in NZ, have come up with a timeline, online - it looks pretty flash. But be warned, this is simply an interpretation by some historian, whilst helpful, it is contested.
Reading Lemalu Sina Retzlaff's story and seeing her face front page is sad but more so, courageous.
It takes a strong woman to step up and be the face of this 'epidemic'.
I have so much respect for her for doing this.
The more we talk about it, the more we shed light and make us, and others, especially young people know that it is not right. Ever. To be violent. particularly to someone who you are (were - at some point) meant to trust and love.
Sometimes, in anger, I wish there was a site, or a public platform to expose these violent people. But I know that doesn't help anyone.
What does domestic violence look like?
It's can be the guy you can trust, who is wonderful with people, who is an ambassador for our country, who is charismatic and social, who is trustworthy, who is passionate about his alma mater, who is an adoring father - and that pretty much describes a lot of people. Because domestic violence does not discriminate.
(Wow....after describing the above, it occurred to me that the 6 men I know who beat their wives/ex wives all went to the same boys school in Samoa, all hang out in their boys group as if they are still at high school, and all need to be shot held accountable).
whenever I hear these words in samoan prayer, it intrigues me:
Uia ala o o loo iai le maliu ma le oti ae faafetai mo lau puipuiga.
We were on the pathways where there is death, and we were spared, thank you for your protection.
It is such a fatalistic scary yet - true approach, ...Death is everywhere, and we could potentially die any time.
Death in the above prayer is like hazards on a road that we have to walk through, we could die if we fall into a hole, fall over and crack our head, be hit by a car...or we could make it past and get to our destination safely.
It got me thinking of driving, and being a driver gives me the means to kill someone else, or myself.
Then it got me thinking of drunk drivers, and their blatant disregard for human live, theirs and others.
They are the death traps out on that road, not stationary, but moving fast, moving Hazards - looking for their next person to kill. Unbeknown to you, who is on the road walking to your home. Hit. Killed.
I love that it shows my mom in her trademark sei and sulu aoao dress
I love that one of her children is in it, in her trademark couture which is shorts, or on a normal day, undies.
We used to visit an old relative who lived on the right of the ford - her home faced the ocean and the backyard was this part, the fresh water part that goes right up to the area called Vao sa o Tuifiti, the sacred(or forbidden) forest of Tuifiti., also inland from here is the Swimming with Turtles at Sato'alepai.
Legend has it that if you pee in this water, which belongs to Tuifiti, you will die. So we had to hop out of the water to pee on land. lol.
I love that it reminds me of fun days going somewhere in the beat up old van to some faalavelave or some reason that we didn't care about...we were simply on an adventure - in our short/undies.
I love that this image was captured by our family friend (well, more family than friend now) Geoff Hoddinot. Thank You!
Today, the place where the old lady lived is a desolate strip of rocks and sand, she has since passed away and the village have moved inland after the cyclones - the area is no longer inhabitable.
And I'm not saying that lightly. I have witnessed this young err, diva at work, and has proven that:
Indeed - Yes you can - even when there are huge challenges in your way.
I think we are so very blessed to have inspiring young people who are leading and being positive influences for others. Thank you Jason for being you!
“From my experiences as a fa’afafine growing up in Samoa – violence on a more personal level starts at the heart of the building blocks of our country – our immediate family, or aiga – all forms of violence can be averted if we as adults and parents choose to raise responsible citizens, if we chose to raise our kids the right way. This in turn can avoid the domino effect of children growing up with violent behavior.”
While some of us are oohing and aaahing about pageants and rugby over the last few hours, there are bigger problems that do not get enough attention. But reading about the traumatic experiences of young women who have been subjected to rape, incest, violence, hate, fear- particularly this one by Terry Tavita just angered and shocked me. Yet, we know it happens. In our supposedly close knit and loving community.
14-years-old and six-months pregnant
By Terry Tavita
This week, the Samoa Victim Support Group – in conjunction with UNICEF - launched its 16-day activism programme to rehabilitate young victims of rape, incest, child abuse and neglect. For the first time, a journalist – exclusive to the editor of this publication – was permitted inside the SVSG campus at Tuana’imato and was allowed access to interview some of the young victims of what is becoming a disturbing illness in some sectors of our society. The Savali is publishing these interviews so our readers can have a first-hand account of the trauma and suffering these victims go through. We also advise our non-Samoan readers that these cases are the exception, and by far, not the norm in peaceful and stable Samoa. Though all information is factual, as told to us by the victims, we have adopted fictitious names to protect their identities. Some of their stories we warn our readers are quite disturbing.
May, 14-years old, Savai’i
“It was Sunday, Mother’s Day in May this year. “My mother, my little brother and I were on our way to church. When we got to the road, I turned back as I wanted use the toilet. So I ran back home. I turned on the light. And as I was sitting there, my stepfather opened the door. He had a knife in his hand. He put the blade of the knife to my forehead and told me to take off my clothes. I refused. He started to strangle me with his other hand while the other one still holding the knife to my head. He then began to rip off my clothes. He then started raping me. “My mother then came in. She turned on the light and he took off behind the trees. She didn’t say anything. That was the first time. “The second time was about two weeks later. I was sleeping with my little brother. He is just seven years old. When my step father came to our mosquito net that night, I could smell alcohol in the room. He was obviously drinking. This time, he had a bush knife. He put the knife over my head and pushed my little brother aside. He then began ripping off my clothes and started raping me. My little brother was sobbing with his hand covering his eyes. His face. The third time, my whole family was there when he came in with a shot gun that night. He began to point the gun at everybody and threatened that he will kill everyone. He then came to me. He put the shotgun to my head. He told me that he will shoot me if I didn’t do what he wanted. He pushed me down. He put the shotgun over my head and began to tear off my clothes. He then began raping me in front of my siblings. “After. He told me to come with him the next day to the plantation with him. “In the early hours of that morning, my crippled brother who moves around in wheelchair wheeled all the way to the Police station. It took him five hours. “The Police came and took my stepfather away. They also brought me here. “I am now six-months pregnant with my stepfather’s child. “I am happy at this campus. The food is good and I am being looked after very well by the staff here at Victim Support. They have been very helpful and supportive to me.”
Ed’s note: The stepfather has been tried and convicted by the courts for rape of a minor. He is now serving seven years in prison without a chance of parole.
is taking place right now at the Pacific Casino in Honiara.
No live streaming and no consistent updates - so there are a lot of Pacific people online at the moment searching for news, updates, whatever.
some are getting their tarpolines in a knot over the lack of news.....hellocious, its the Pacific...relax yourself mate!
Thankfully, I was getting updated by my darling friend Jane - merci mon amie!
Results: thank you Jane Poloso Miss South Pacific results~ Best Float-Cook Islands, Best Sarong-cook islands , Best Talent- Solomon Islands, Best Trad wear- cook islands, Best Interview-Tonga , Miss Photogenic- Samoa, Miss Internet- Samoa, Miss South Pacific 2013 is Miss Cook Islands!!! 4th runner up American Samoa 3rd runner Solomon Islands 2nd Samoa 1st runner up Tonga Winner of the Poor Internet Updates Category: Miss South Pacific 2013 facebook page, lol. jokes.
Miss South Pacific 2013-2014
First Runner Up: Miss Tonga, Best Interview, Miss Personality
Second Runner Up: Miss Samoa, also Photogenic and most likes (FB)
When we celebrate culture - we do so in two ways: in an expression of pride., deep in our beings/mauli.
The inexplicable emotion that uplifts and exudes good feelings about our affiliation with a place, a history, a people.
We feel it, we emote it, we become it.
No one can stop me for this sense of being, or pride.
Then, there is the outward celebration, through a lived culture, in what we wear, say, sing, eat, and do.
I wear a fine mat to dance, I eat taro because we associate this with our culture (and because I'm hungry). I sing songs that we learnt as children. You give money to a loved one because its our way of
express our alofa, love.
Then, change inevitably happens - and we grow up, we marry non-Samoans, non-"our-own-culture", we move abroad, we move into palagi houses and eat steak for dinner (ailoga), we speak another language, we immerse ourselves in a world of difference, a world of many-a-cultures.
Lorde has just released her music video for 'Team' - see it for yourself!
Here's what Lorde has to say about the video:
"WE'RE ON EACH OTHER'S TEAM
this video was borne from a dream i had a few months ago about teenagers in their own world, a world with hierarchies and initiations, where the boy who was second in command had acne on his face, and so did the girl who was queen. i dreamt about this world being so different to anything anyone had ever seen, a dark world full of tropical plants and ruins and sweat. and of this world, i dreamt about tests that didn't need to be passed in order to be allowed in: sometimes the person who loses is stronger. enjoy xx"
Sometimes, I do not comment on touchy issues - not because I'm ignoring it, but because it happens too close to home. It hurts.
And I don't want to offend the very person I want to speak for. Also, "E leai sa'u feau" kind of mentality.
But today, I will.
Only because, my loved one has become the survivor of domestic violence.
She is the eldest of us girls, she was first to get the hidings from my uncle, the first to get up and be a mother to us younger useless siblings, the first to look after my granma, the first to get told off, the ONLY one to do the washing when we were too busy being ...useless. And the first to leave home.
As a first daughter, she had so much on her shoulders.
I am proud of you girl, for overcoming all the heartache, the pain, the violence, physical and pshycological, the manipulative hate, the anger.
Because of her, I know not to ask a woman in an abusive marriage this question:
"Why don't you leave him?"
It's not that easy.
It never is and never will be.
We can only be there to support, help and listen, but no matter what we say, only one person will make the decision to leave: