It's a Samoan pub.

October 9, 2006: The beginning of my adventure in the Peace Corps. I've been invited to serve as an Information and Communication Techonology volunteer to teach computer skills in Samoa. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog are mine and do not in any way reflect the views of the Peace Corps, the US government, or the country of Samoa.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Samoan Respect

Just as America has its own set of faux-pas and cultural standards, there are a few aspects of Samoan culture that needed to be learned when we first got here so we would avoid offending. Though we still sometimes offend by accident, people see that we’re trying and will forgive us. A few of the major things to always keep in mind:

1. Do not wear shoes into a house or open fale. Leave them at the door.

2. Never stand up while you are talking to someone who is sitting. Enter the room, sit down, and then begin to speak.

3. There are many occasions where you will be sitting on the floor with people. Never point your feet towards them. Always sit either cross legged or tuck your feet to the side. After meetings and prayers people are often told that they can relax, in other words, stretch out their feet. In such cases, feet should be pointed away from everyone.

4. When walking between two people talking to each other bow your head and say “Tulou.” Pronounced “Too-Low.”

5. When eating a meal with a family or at work, a prayer is always said first before eating.

6. Do not stand while eating or drinking.


Blogger Vanessa said...

Hi Meg,
Love your blog. I am Samoan and live in Dunedin, NZ. I googled the term "Samoan meals" and your site popped up as one of the links. I am preparing a presentation on Food and Culture about Samoa for a Food Science lecture which I have been asked to do here at the University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ. Although I lived there most of my life and had just been there in Jan 07, it is interesting to get others viewpoints and story about Samoa. Well done on the blog and keep up the good work. I went through 3 US Peace Corps through my school life and found them all interesting and highly useful to us as students. My favourite was a "John" who used to teach us Mathematics at the Catholic Senior School at Moamoa, 1997. He was quite a colourful character :-)

12:29 AM GMT-11  

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