A friendly advice for the youth

By Sarafina Sanerivi and Ilia L. Likou ,

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IT IS NOT EASY: Salu Leati, 21 years old from the village of Si’umu.

IT IS NOT EASY: Salu Leati, 21 years old from the village of Si’umu. (Photo: Ilia L Likou)

People say that there is no place like home.

Ask Salu Leati and she will be happy to tell you why.

Aged 21, Salu is originally from the village of Si’umu but now resides in Malie, with her husband’s family.

She was spotted weeding the garden in front of her husband’s family house.

Asked how life is for her in Samoa, Salu did not beat around the bush.  

“We have heard so many stories about how hard it is to be a nofotane (married woman) or a faiavā (married man) in Samoa,” the 21-year-old said.

“We’ve also heard about how badly they are being treated by the families they married into.

“But I never thought the stories were true until now.

“To be honest with you, living with another family is different from your own family. 

“I am sure you are aware of how nice it is to live with your own family.

“You are free to do whatever you want to do. But here, things are different.”

Salu explains that being a nofotane isn’t easy.

“You know you are expected to do things for the family and people expect you to do all the chores.

“I know its part of our culture for a Samoan girl to do these when they live with her husband’s family. 

“I know I am not the only one or the first one to experience this or think that being a nofotane is hard.

“I tell you it is not easy. And it’s not like I didn’t hear stories about how hard it is to be a nofotane in Samoa.

“You know this was one of the things my parents kept telling me when I was young. They kept saying that I should never get married at a young age.”

She went on to say that she regrets not listening to her parents.

“I guess this is what happens when my parents send me to school and I just went off and got married.

“I thought it was the right thing to do and I was old enough to have a husband. I thought things would be easy.

“But now that I have a taste of it, man I can tell you that it’s not easy.”

Speaking from experience, Salu said she wants to advise all the other youth in Samoa to be serious about education.

“You know in this life, no one is perfect.

“We all make mistakes and we all suffer in life. But we should learn from the mistakes of others. For me, my biggest mistake is not listening to my parents.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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