Samoan culture

'There's shame involved' - sexual abuse survivor on Pacific barriers to speaking out

Frances was the first witness to recount her experiences​ on Monday at the Royal Commission of Inquiry into abuse in faith-based care. 

Frances described how she was abused between the ages of five and seven years old by Brother Bede Fitton, but it was only when she was in her thirties that she felt she could open up to her parents.​

PMN News reports during the hearing, Frances also spoke about the cultural barriers that discourage Pasifika from talking about their sexual abuse experience.

Matamua Loretta Washington credits success in the US Air Force to her Samoan culture

"What I learned in our culture of being Samoan, like doing chores and listening to people tell me what to do, I was able to translate that going into the military."

Matamua Loretta Washington has reached one of the highest levels of leadership in the United States Air Force Chief Master Sergeant, that only one percent of people who enlist can attain.

She explains that in her new role as Chief Master Sergeant she will, "oversee the logistics, the resourcing, the provider template, and everything that works for the medical hospital on an everyday basis"​.

NZ mindful of Samoan culture at Pacific Games

Four years after making their Pacific Games debut alongside Australia in Port Moresby, New Zealand will be increasing its presence at this year's event, competing in seven sports in Apia in July.

Four years ago, New Zealand athletes only contended weightlifting and taekwondo.

Team New Zealand Chef de Mission Kristy Hill said they were excited to be invited to compete once again alongside their Pacific Island neighbours.

Call for Samoa matai to do more to stop violence

Government figures show reported cases of domestic violence more than tripled from 200 in 2012 to 723 in 2015.

Maiava Iulai Toma said violence may be fortified by attitudes embedded in traditional Samoan culture.

He said the Fono o Matai were very powerful Fa'a Samoa institutions which could help address violence in the home.

"Village councils can be very good and in fact take action against things that happen in their villages," said Maiava. "But generally speaking, when it comes to domestic violence, action is minimal."

Disney film Moana appropriating Samoan culture: Arieta Rika

But some people have said the film and its merchandise are appropriating Samoan culture.

Arieta Rika, who founded a website called Talanoa as a home for Pacific stories, told the BBC how she wants her culture to be celebrated.

As a Pacific person, I can't tell you how excited I am to see this movie. Seeing faces that look like mine, telling a story that relates to me. I just don't have the words.

I haven't felt this excited about a Disney film in decades.

Malamalama Moni projects to foster Samoan culture thrive

Malamalama Moni Aoga Amata was founded in 1993 from an informal Samoan language nest run in a garage.  

In 1993 an early childhood centre was set up in Highbury, using Samoan as the primary language. Since then the facilities and licence have expanded twice due to strong demand.

As the children moved to primary school the group again found a way to support them, with an after school club and holiday programme.