Much has been said about the youth, and for Lopao’o Esau, from the village of Falelauniu, he says it saddens him to see so much disrespect being shown by the young these days. Aged 70, Lopao’o says that over time, the situation with the youth has gotten worse. He has noticed children talking back to parents, disobeying elders, and simply not showing any care with what goes on at home.
Recalling the past times in Samoa, Lopao’o says there was much more peace because the youth knew how to act in the past.
“In the past, there weren’t many problems,” he told the Village Voice. “It just took one word to get a child in line and they would listen because they knew the consequences. But nowadays, we tell the youth or our children what to do and they show no respect.”
“They disobey the elders and it’s like they know nothing about how Samoans are supposed to act. We have younglings talking back all the time and some have even told us that we had our time and this is theirs.”
Lopao’o says he misses the days where the young would stand up and move when told to do so. Now they just sit around and cause trouble while being disobedient.
“It’s sad looking around in modern day Samoa and seeing so many children being disobedient and talking back to their parents,” he said.
“I want to turn back the dial and go back to the old Samoa. The Samoa where the young ones showed respect and life was so much easier for the older folks.”
“Back then, the children will always listen to adults and they would never dare think of talking back. Back then the children were much more orderly and there was far less trouble around because of their obedience.” With all the changes going on in Samoa, Lopao’o says that Samoa is entering a time of disrespect.
“There have been many changes from the past times and now,” he said.
“Don’t get me wrong, there are also good sides to the changes but there are many negative sides too. With all these changes, I think it would be good to keep our fa’asamoa culture alive.
“Right now, there’s just a culture of disrespect surrounding our nation. If you go around, you will notice how hard it is to find anyone youth who shows the same respect that was shown back in the days. “This happens especially around the town areas where the youth a free to show their rowdy and disrespectful behaviours.
“I hope one day the youth will learn and start turning their lives around because if they don’t, I don’t know what future Samoa will have.”