Our Cultural way of celebrating a 21st Birthday and the Key of Life.
By Suluama T Vivolo. Photos by Faith and Masina Autagavaia
Independent Samoa's culture is more compatible with the British way of family traditions when it comes to transitions from teenager to adulthood celebrations. Samoan parents still hold huge celebrations of 21st Birthdays for their children which is a British or New Zealand concept. Although gifts were not customary, these days its part of the event as certain milestones are celebrated in a big way: These are the important ones: 21 years, 40, 50, 60, 70, 75 and of course 100 years of age.(If you last that long)
For these celebrations a feast is usually thrown and people give gifts and or money. Those celebrating their 21st are sometimes given a mirrored key symbolic of their freedom and their achieving the 21st year milestone. The key symbolizes opening a door to their life as they venture out from the safety of the home into the world where they must make it happen on their own.
The Samoan culture tightly grasps the ceremonies and gift giving customs from their original traditions even though the majority of Samoans are now Christians. Ceremonial gifts are called “Fa’aaloaloga Fa’aSamoa” which translates to the “Samoan way of showing honor.” Tongan Cultural on the other hand has a similar concurrence in nature to Samoa's.
Gift giving in Samoan culture is a common practice that holds a lot of weight. In fact, they call gifts “Meaalofa” which translates to “a thing of love.’ Samoans view every gift as a tangible representation of their feelings toward the recipient because gifts are the best way to express love, gratitude, respect and affirm a relationship.
In most legal systems in particular the American culture, one becomes designated as an adult on a particular birthday (usually between 12 and 21). Reaching certain age specific milestones confers particular rights and responsibilities on the young people as they grow older. In many cultures at a certain age, one may become eligible to leave home for full-time education or become subject to military conscription or enlist in the military. They may be able to consent to sexual intercourse or to marry with or without parental consent, be able to vote or run for elected office. Many young people think becoming an adult consists of being able to legally purchase (or consume) alcohol and tobacco products, purchase lottery tickets or obtain a driver's license.
But the bottom line is the age of majority is more than just the age when minors cease to legally be considered children. Its the moment in their lives when they assume control over their persons, actions, and decisions, thereby terminating the legal control from their parents and the responsibilities of their parents or guardian over and for them ends.
Its the best and most dangerous time of their lives. Which is why the mirrored key has so much meaning to the young 21 year old. The key to your life has a mirror so you can see where you came from as you open the next door to your life and step into your future. As your parents and family hand that ceremonial key to you it means they wish: May your life be filled with joy and success but do not forget who you represent.
Samoan brothers capture burglars in Tacoma, WA
Samoan brothers Robert and Fatu Tasi are being hailed as heroes in Tacoma, Washington, after they chased down and captured two burglary suspects in the Evergreen State.
According to Kirotv.com, the Tasi brothers were getting ready for work when they heard a woman across the street calling for help. The woman reportedly had returned home from work to find two men carrying electronics out her front door. They even had her dog in one of their cars.
Kirotv.com reported, “When the Tasi brothers looked out the window in the direction of the homeowner’s screams, they saw burglars sprinting out of her house, and down the street. Both brothers took immediate action, without saying a word to each other.” Robert is said to have ran out barefooted before jumping into his brother Fatu’s car.
The brothers saw the suspects running in opposite directions, and they sprinted behind them. Robert told kirotv.com: “To be honest, I almost like lost him. Then I was like jumping him like (Seattle Seahawk) Earl Thomas, you know? I grabbed him and I pulled him down, and the police showed up right there.”
Seconds later, Fatu ran down the other burglar and told kirotv.com that he grabbed the suspect, threw him against the fence but “he was trying to fight back, trying to break and just run away.” The suspects apparently weren’t aware of the fact the Fatu is a former heavyweight boxer.
After Tacoma Police arrested and booked the two suspects, Fatu and Robert received thanks from Tacoma police officers and the terrified homeowner. “I wasn't even afraid or scared,” Fatu told kirotv.com “We’ve got God by our side to be honest with you, man." -
Samoans from Australia are rescued by the generosity of Seattle residents: Suluama Vivolo and Elizabeth Mitchell.
It was a long week for the Le Manamea Radio group who traveled all the way from Sydney, Australia to Seattle, WA in response to an invitation by the Samoan Committee for the Samoan Cultural Day Celebrations to join and be a participant in Seattle's Samoan day. However, the week began with an unfortunate miscommunication and misunderstanding that left them and their group stranded at the airport. The group were unable to find anyone to help them and they called those who they knew including our editors Suluama Teresa Vivolo and Elizabeth Mitchell.
In response to their plea for help these two ladies with big hearts went to the airport and moved the entire group into hotel rooms and began the work of helping them with their living arrangements. They also took them to a professional baseball game to see the Seattle Mariners play and many other activities.
On Friday evening the Samoans in Seattle le Malae website and Samoa Speaks Forum held a farewell party for the group who were to leave Sunday morning for Sydney. The event was attended and supported by members of the Samoan community including two Samoan churches from the EFKS denomination. One from Kent and the other from Normandy Park. These two churches provided financial support of over $8000. The rest was donations from the Samoans who attended and the Le Malae and Samoa Speaks Forum combined for a total of over $10,000 for the group as a farewell gift for them as they left Seattle.
Many hearts were heavy as the festivities ended and new friendships had been forged during this difficult time. But the result and ending was one of triumph and celebration as the group who began the week in dire straits were made to feel welcome and appreciated for their efforts to travel all the way from Australia to the North West. According to Suluama T. Vivolo who was instrumental along with her partner in crime, Liz Mitchell, in rescuing these Samoans stranded at the Sea Tac Airport,
A Young Samoan man Uses His second chance to live to serve god after surviving Rare Kidney disease.
By Suluama Teresa Vivolo.
Photos by Suluama Teresa Vivolo
Larney Kennach has been through some tough times in the last two years. He was diagnosed with a very rare kidney disease that caused him to lose about 3 semesters of his High School Senior year. He went through episodes of multiple blood tests, hospitalization, and several operations all of which caused him to almost miss his Graduation from High School. But the miracle happened and he was able to come through these physical difficulties with a new lease on life and complete his required courses for graduation.
He was born in Federal Way, Washington to two loving Samoan afakasi parents, Mother Lofia Fruen Kennach & Larney Sr Kennach. He has 4 sisters and one brother plus a huge family of uncles, aunties & cousins. After his ordeal he decided that he would not waste time on anything less than serving God which was his way of showing his appreciation for the miracle of life and so he decided to go on a full time mission. Larney Kennach graduated from Federal Way High School last year, and worked full time while awaiting his Call to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons).
The Lord's Church has always been a missionary church. Jesus Christ's life was the perfect example of missionary work. During His ministry on earth, he taught the gospel at all times, in all places, and to all kinds of people. Jesus taught the educated men in the temple, the sinners, the faithful and the unbelieving. He also called apostles and other disciples to preach the gospel so more people could hear about the blessings of His gospel. Most of their preaching during Christ's life was to their own people, the Jews. After Jesus was resurrected, He visited His apostles and sent them to preach to the gentiles. He commanded them, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).
That Mormons do missionary work is one of the Church's most recognized characteristics. Right now, tens of thousands of missionaries are walking, driving or riding their bikes around the world, handing out copies of the Book of Mormon and sharing the gospel with the people they meet. Why do these people, most of them under the age of 25, volunteer to leave their homes at their own expense and dedicate a period of their lives to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Larney Kennach is about to find out. He has reached that point in his life to be called upon he has been praying for it all his life. He then joined the MTC in Salt Lake City Utah for a week of training and preparation prior to leaving for Columbus, Ohio State where he was chosen to serve two years.
It is the hopes of the writers and Samoans in Seattle/Tacoma that more youth will take this young man's lead and follow this great example to serve God. Its a testament to the upbringing he received as a young man that this would be his desire. We at Highline Samoan State Ward will all miss you Elder Kennach. God bless & see you again in two years time.
Seattle and Tacoma are represented at the Le Malae convention in Las Vegas which included covering the USA Sevens Rugby Tournament, a great time for Editors Suluama & Elizabeth.
The team from Seattle, Suluama Teresa Laumea-Vivolo and Elizabeth Mitchell were both at the USA Sevens in Las Vegas last week, January 24-26th, for the Le Malae Convention and to cheer for our Manu Samoa team. This was a unique opportunity for the Samoans in Seattle & Tacoma website to meet with the parent company Le Malae. It was a week of planning, learning and entertainment. The two members of this website, Samoans in Seattle/Tacoma were definitely glad they made the trip as it was a great opportunity to be a part of the Media and enjoy the special treatment that comes with being a member of the Media. There were special media passes, car parking privileges, unmolested entry and a special lounge for the reporters and media people to do their work and relax.
The opportunity arose for Suluama to interview the Coach of the Manu Samoa and she did a great job. It is posted here. Liz Mitchell also made a video which is also posted here. Her emphasis at the end was to cheer on her favorite team....the Seahawks who play in the Superbowl this weekend. But the important thing is we have gone to Las Vegas and as Ceasar said "I came, I saw, I conquered."
Washington gives Tuiasosopo perfect start to coaching career.
By John CrumpackerFriday, December 27, 2013
If Marques Tuiasosopo does nothing else in his career, at least he can say he was undefeated as a head football coach.
Washington's interim head coach walked off the field at AT&T Park on Friday night with a 1-0 record after his Huskies scored a 31-16 victory over BYU in the 12th annual Fight Hunger Bowl.
Tuiasosopo was elevated from quarterbacks coach to interim head man when Steve Sarkisian left for USC. Boise State's Chris Petersen was hired to replace Sarkisian and as of Saturday, he's in charge and Tuiasosopo is out of work.
"I can't say enough about our players," said Tuiasosopo, who quarterbacked Washington to a Rose Bowl win in 2001 and served as the Raiders' backup for eight years. "They wanted this. Through some turmoil, they stayed focused and came together as a team. They came down here with a purpose. We had a fun two weeks. I'm fired up."
Tuiasosopo's interim players doused him with a bucket of interim water after the game for an interim job well done.
"To see the guys on the field after the game, they're laughing, some guys have tears of joy in their eyes, that's what's cool to me," Tuiasosopo said. "That's why I got into coaching - to see these guys achieve what they set out to achieve."
By the time Washington's starting quarterback, Keith Price, left the game early in the fourth quarter with a rib injury, the damage had been done to BYU.
The Huskies had a 28-16 lead early in the third quarter, and their defense was on the way to shutting out BYU in the second half. That's no mean feat given the slippery nature of quarterback Taysom Hill, who had 426 yards in total offense - 293 passing and 133 rushing - but was not named the game's Most Outstanding Offensive Player; that went to Washington's Bishop Sankey, who had 95 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
The Huskies added a 45-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter to go up 31-16. Washington finished the season 9-4. BYU went 8-5.
"We had a great experience leading up to the game," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhallsaid. "I'm proud of our team. That's nine straight bowls games. We win most of them. They certainly cared about the outcome."
BYU wasted a great chance to narrow Washington's lead late in the third quarter whenJustin Sorensen pulled a 44-yard field-goal try wide left that would have made it 28-19.
The Huskies moved out to a 28-16 lead on their first drive of the second half when Price found 6-foot-6, 276-pound tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins on a 16-yard touchdown pass at 11:12.
Kicking field goals instead of scoring touchdowns was the reason BYU trailed at halftime 21-16 despite dominating the offensive statistics.
"Things get tight" in the red zone, Hill said. "We needed to excel at a really high level, and we didn't do that. We needed to execute better. To Washington's credit, they really came at us hard when we got down there, and we weren't able to punch it in."
Sorensen converted on field goals of 45, 31 and 32 yards for BYU.
In the second quarter, Washington's John Ross took a kickoff 4 yards deep in the end zone and covered the length of the field to put the Huskies up 14-7 with 11:57 to go before halftime. It was the longest kickoff return in Fight Hunger Bowl history.
Washington defensive end Hau'oli Kikaha was named the bowl's Most Outstanding Defensive Player for recording nine tackles and three sacks.
For the Up to the Minute reports on Alex leapai's Quest to win the Heavyweight World Title go to Le Malae Sports
Ninatash Designs is a local business located in Des Moines, WA where owner Elizabeth Mitchell creates her own fashion designs, Clothing lines for women and men, Kuiga's and other cultural items including Samoan music. Her phone number is 206-604-0814 and her email is email@example.com
Richard Parker cds are now available in Seattle/Tacoma
Calendar and up coming events
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