Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Manu Samoa Selection

Happened and I am enjoying the expert commentary and analysis by so many samoans who have NEVER, touched a rugby ball in their lives. Just other balls.
Or exercised in the last decade.
and it just made me smile and love my people a whole lot more.
We are surrounded by experts (tongue dripping with sarcasm).
Fefe ia kaepupu., o ia e fai gi kou feau.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

musumusuga o le afiafi...

There is this ingrained, established structure that is owned by a group of people who have been here for a long time. They are hereby referred to 'the establishment'.
They do things in a manner which emphasises culture (whatever that may be) and hierarchy.
They are influencers of many. They command authority and control.

What saddens me a lot is seeing the above cohort, stifle debate for the rest of those who identify as Pacific and hold onto opportunities without helping others.

What is truly exciting today is that MORE AND MORE people, have outgrown the above group, or rather, there are more people who are being innovative and proactive about the challenges we face today.

That, my 3 readers, is what excites me.

Own it. Speak your truth. Embrace our cultures but live in Today. Value our traditions and take what's important and apply it to your life today.

Ia manuia la'asaga o le vaiaso.

Front Row choir from Aorere College ----beautiful melodies

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Words of wisdom from the beautiful Ymania Brown-Gabriel

No one else could have said it better, thank you for sharing your mana Ymania,
Yeah, about The Great Pretenders..... When Rachel Dolezal's news came out, I felt that old warm blanket feeling of being discovered as something you're not.
Like when a boyfriend realises you're not a girl. Or a guy you've been dating suddenly finds out you're post operative transgender.
 You know, like how irrespective of the race issue, she was just a great pretender, and for me, how, irrespective of my marker, I am still a faafafine. Pretending to be something you're not, is, from an "outsider's perspective", also what being transgender is.

Gladly the tide is turning and there is a lot more tolerance now that when my mother recognised my special characteristics when I was 5 years old - ask any of my friends that knew me then, I was a faafafine from Primer 1 all the way through to like, well now really! That Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox, and all those faafafines living their truths now in the public eye have come out, I am proud of them for realising their realities and doing it now.

Back when I was living my truth, you could not get a job dressed as a woman, you could not go out in public spaces, your boyfriends never held your hand in public, and the only time you felt safe when going out was when you were with cousins bigger than you (yeah right, go heckle a Samoan faafafine surrounded by her cousins aka the Samoan B Rugby Team - bring it baj!)

The NZ Department of Social Welfare in Wellington (my first government employment in NZ) requested to change the regulations for the use of female toilets so I can use them. Noel, a born and bred Catholic manager who believed in the sacrosanct of 2 genders had to do it because I was turning up to work in dresses and using the men's toilet.

I came to Australia and had gender reassignment surgery at 22yo and have basically been pretending to be a woman for, well, over half my adult life.
Thats a lot of pretending. But then I realised that we are all in the same boat. Dolezal's blackness, my womanness, your perfect social life, your squeeky clean go to church every Sunday image whilst you private message me with hotel details, I mean we're all pretending to be something we're not right?

Yep Rachel passed herself off as black and people are hurt by the deception but she did great work to help the community to get to where she is.

Transgender citizens such as myself struggle with identity and live our truths our way and despite the biblical condemnation, the attacks, the murders, the public and private put downs, the physical harm we put ourselves in (and sadly some of us do not survive) we still stay true to living our truth.

The only similarity between Rachel's race truth and my transgender truth is this:Rachel left a privileged white background to live a truth as a black woman. I left the privileged dominant assigned male by birth background to live my truth as a woman (sadly most of society still thinks being male is dominant, the poor creatures).
 In doing so, I found my way, I found that being a woman is not just about genitalia assigned at birth, but about the experiences you have along the way.

Rachel if you are reading this, keep true to your truth and your race. Race whilst hereditary can be changed - communities of colour have accepted white citizens to live amongst them, but it's by invitation not deception. Work back that trust for the rest of your black days woman. Get to it.

Gender, whilst biological (at least in as far as the binary markers are the current norm but the tide is changing), can be changed. God the struggle has been real and continues to be to this day and woman, black you present, black you is.
Woman I present, then woman I is, unless of course if you are with my Laus who will gladly snap me back into my plastic box.

The End.
P.S.  No perfect pretenders living in the glasshouse that is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter were harmed in the writing of this update.

Ymania, posing with a housegirl at Sofitel Fiji


Saturday, June 13, 2015

A small place, lived a woman with a big heart, which beats, intertwines and breathes life into each of us, regardless

This morning, I woke up and saw that a prolific and inspirational woman has left this world too soon, and with her, her passion, love, compassion, drive and influence.
And I found myself weeping for her children, her grandchildren and loved ones.

I am so so so so sad for you Sula.

You are all in our thoughts.

One of the very things I absolutely admired about this beautiful woman was her wonderful, warm and loving relationship to her children and those around her.
Another is her mana with words and with communicating her message. I admired that and I loved that her daughter carries this with her, bless.

I feel that when these wrods are uttered,  "e, ua maliliu toa (the warriors have gone) ---Ua ma'umau ai a'upega o le taua (and the weapons of war are wasted), I am thinking of this prolific leader who now takes with her weapons our people so desperately need, weapons of knowledge, weapons of history, genealogy, weapons of humility and her departure leaves us with a void that will be impossible to fill.

But it leaves me hopeful, that in her years, she has inspired several generations of students throughout Samoa and US, NGo circles and academia, her families and friends - and many more who have crossed the oceania - each having seen a warrior lead, inspire, influence and empower
Ia manuia lau malaga i le lagi.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Dont dream it's over, by Nyssa Collins

Watch Nyssa COllins sing DOn't dream it's over in Samoan, beautiful

Soft porn Samoan style

I was sent a link to a calendar being produced by a very enterprising talented Samoan.
I love his work and follow it avidly on social media. I also bought one of his calendars last year and gifted it to my friend who hasn't had any ass in months.
I am all about supporting talent, that's right.
All supportive until I was sent images from the latest calendar. Most of it were of men with very little garments in them (Oh my virgin eyes! Look away!)
There was also a young man with nothing on except his tattoo.
The comments on social media thus far are all praise and support and some rather kinky comments that we are all laughing to.
But it left a rather bad taste in my mouth. Uh huh.
It could have been a much more tasteful project - but clearly, I'm not the intended audience.
I guess this is also the downside of coming from a community were the roots of the tree are so very intertwined, and speaking ill of someone's dream project can severe the other roots of this misiluki tree.
And so, I find myself disagreeing inwards but choosing to reserve my opinion on facepoki, (pardon the pun).
After all, who am I to kill a tree that is clearly thriving and growing each time it is stoked?

I suppose I am from a different era, and my virginal eyes are not accustomed to seeing men of my ethnicity stripped down and touching their phallus in a suggestive way. (Virgin Mary forgive me).

I'm not too accustomed to turning the page and someone's crotch cocked in my direction.
I mean, please, ...put it away and let's talk story.
auuuuu ------pepelooooo!!!

So, to all my perverted friends and your perverted friends, If you want to buy a calendar, please do so.
and I?
I am off to be on my knees in prayerful confession.