A new phenomenon has popped up over the last couple of years, that I’ve become very aware of, and yesterday I decided to do something about it having asked our eldest if she didn’t mind parting with a recent drawing that I wanted to make into a poster to tell an important message.
The phenomenon is the idea of a ‘plastic Samoan’. Whoever created this idea may have started it as a joke but it has now become an insult and a derogatory term that is noted for particularly those who may not speak the Samoan language or who may identify as being Samoan but may not know much about Samoa.
I’ve discussed this in an earlier blog but it pains me to still hear people discuss themselves in terms of being a plastic Samoan and being apologetic for being one.
I totally reject this negative label that is deemed to make someone feel less of value, as a Samoan, it seems to me to be similar to the oppressive terms of racism that Europeans and even us as Samoans, termed those coming from Samoa as ‘FOBS’ in the 1970s – 1980s (Fresh off the boat) and even the racial slur ‘Bunga’ which has gone out of fashion.
Therefore, I’ve decided to start sharing some ‘wisdom’ thoughts through ‘tofa sa’ili’ from my research in poster form of beginning to counter some of the attacks that we see on Samoan cultural evolution, those with multicultural identities that include being Samoa and Samoan diaspora (those living away from the homeland) communities in NZ, Australia, USA, Hawaii, Alaska etc.
If you agree with the poster then please share it. I’ve discussed the copyright with our eldest and we are happy for it to be distributed far and wide without reserving any rights as this is an important term to be refuted and to not continue the demeaning of our own people who have not the voice to counter such attacks.
I’ve also written a poem that I’ll be publishing later on in the year but to suffice to say that often a poster can sum up thoughts in a pithy way that can then be shared for others’ considerations so that the perpetrators can STOP!…