Today I decided to change tack in my PhD studies and reach out to other diaspora (living overseas from a point of origin) Samoa women via social media (and in this case Facebook) to ask about ideas or thoughts regarding what the top 5 features for identifying as Samoan women including rites of passage in our communities i.e. what sets us apart as uniquely Samoan women from other indigenous women groups?

In formal studies there’s usually an ethics committee at the tertiary institution that one would have to go through to check on issues of privacy, the types of questions asked, storage of data, that would be asked that weren’t offensive or leading, that the research undertaken would be dealt with ethically etc.

The Ethics committee is still a part of this study but I see this as a conversation starter through a social media platform to enable diaspora Samoan women to discuss this topic and if there is interest to be a part of my formal study then the opportunity will be there too.

I definitely have my own views but instead of launching directly into writing about them, I thought it best to consider a range of perspectives from women who identified as Samoan women whether they lived in Samoa or outside of the motherland.

For me I have particular interest in the views of those who live as diaspora Samoan women living outside of the motherland and particularly those living in New Zealand but views from other countries would also be interesting to learn about.

So you are most welcome to list your top five and give reasons for your answers on this website or via through the Facebook thread that I will begin. I guess for me the importance of having public engagement earlier on is that it will allow for women to discuss ‘our’ own issues or ideas genuinely without having pressure of being a part of a university study.

So what are your top 5 features and why?