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.