Introduction: How time changes.
Historical Values: Does our past have a link to the present. •
Gender, generalising identity
How society culture differs from over a period, how we link the past to the present. How Samoan culture relates to Sociology of the Imagination. As Samoan, midwife student.
Introduction: What was then is not now.
My parents had emigrated from Samoa to New Zealand to make a better life for them; settling into a foreign country, was a bit over whelming for my mother, learning a new language was frustrating, but in time, she managed, developing new skills that would help her to maintain a lifestyle here and also her obligations back home. My mother also found the culture particular difficult, trying hard to adapt in this new environment. My mum raised in a society where tradition and religion values were strong in her upbringing, there seemed to be none here in her newfound community. My mother had to learn to adapt to the change. My father on the other hand had no problems at all, leaving the values that he once lived by meant nothing to him now, as his newfound passion was working and spending his money on alcohol which lead to physically abusing my mother. “Fa’asamoa is the umbilical cord that attaches Samoans to their culture. Its meaning for Samoans in their native land will be somewhat different, or have different emphases, than for those in New Zealand” (Mulitalo, 1998),
My parents have five children, I am the third eldest but the eldest daughter, the pressure being a female in a Samoan family is enormous, having to deal with the strict rules and the implication of my actions. The amount of responsibility I had to deal with, taking care of my parents, making sure every day the house was clean, cooking, looking after my younger sibling. I would say it is like taking on a mother’s role at a young age, “A Samoan female is what I am. My parent’s moral values they tried to instil in me when I had become of age, taking the position in the family to cater and obey their expectations. Being a girl is no more than being a slave to my parents and family. That’s what I had thought. What I saw in Samoan families, girls behind closed doors doing the chores and taking care of their Aiga (family), not what I wanted for myself”.(M.A. Leota personal communication, April 4, 2013). Now that I am older and wiser, I identify myself as a Samoan female. This is how I choose to present myself to others, I am a Strong and Powerful Samoan women in a MOTHERING ROLE, to my family and children. Gender is no more than a label that society expectations has of a male and female, your sex is your biological differences, your behaviour defines your gender.
Historical Values – Does our past have a link to our present. “Fa’a Samoa is a system based on division of power, status labour and expectation – the prime motivational force being to safeguard the family status”. (Stewart-Withers, 2011) The expectations were high, the demands from my whole “Agia” (family), had put so much pressure on me, I had to make a life changing decision. My parents with their traditional upbringing and by their ancestral link to their cultural environment living, for example, their life revolved around leadership. My parents wanted to incorporate this cultural training into their children, “Aiga – immediate and extended family,
Matai – Leader of the extended family,
Nu’u – Village, where they come from,
Gafa – their heritage and ancestral links”, (Mulitalo-Lautua, 2000), I found this very hard being a New Zealand born Samoan, knowing that my friends lived the culture of a New Zealander. I always wonder what it would be like to live like my palagi (European) friends and Maori friends; they seem to have so much freedom and could do as they pleased, within reason. Culture will always be part of my...
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