Teine Sāmoa was originally published as an MG/YA ebook during the New Zealand lockdown in May 2020. The story follows the journey of cultural identity and discovery of four junior high school students, their families their teachers and, most importantly, anyone who has ever faced the challenges of being a teine Sāmoa.
The paperback edition of Teine Sāmoa is now being launched on the 10th of October 2020 and will not only include the original Teine Sāmoa story, but also study questions for students, making it a rich Pasifika literacy resource that is able to be integrated into Intermediate and High School English programmes – a first of its kind.
The final part of the paperback edition is the Teine Sāmoa Project, an important space created for our own brave and beautiful stories to be told, which is further explained by the following excerpt from the book.
It’s being able create opportunities for our tamaiti to develop what’s already inside them. Providing spaces for them to explore who they are and why they are. Supporting and enabling them to succeed as themselves. This is why my favourite times in the classroom were when my students bravely stepped out into our world proudly as themselves, empowered and confident.
Over this lockdown period I wrote. A lot. Reflections, articles, poems. And across 7 days, I accidentally wrote a book – Teine Sāmoa.
It all started off by reflecting on my own teine Sāmoa journey which was published by e-tangata last year, ‘Don’t you want to be Sāmoan?’, and the overwhelming response to this article. The countless number of messages and emails. People sharing vivid recounts of their own experiences which told the same story: – Not knowing our Sāmoan language or elements of our Sāmoan culture. – Being told they were not Sāmoan enough. – Being told that being Sāmoan was not good enough. – Not being supported in developing cultural confidence or knowledge and being embarrassed by or shamed for this. – Turning away from our Sāmoan language and culture due to any/some/all of the above, when all they longed for was to be supported, included and accepted as Sāmoan.