Monday, December 21, 2009

Culture Day

This year, in lieu of Thanksgiving we had 'Culture Day.' The objective of 'culture day' was to live out a typical day as a Samoan. Essentially, it was a day of hard labor. Throughout 'culture day' we gathered food at the plantation, prepared the food, cooked it, served it to the Matais (chiefs,) watched them eat, and then ate the leftovers ourselves. Indeed, by the end of the day we were thankful for America and all it has to offer including its highest standard of convenience and shameless and unfettered indulgences. Thanksful we were.

My favorite part of the day was working at the plantation. Working at the plantatin is not just a chore or merely a way of life - it is a conglomeration of sustenance and tradition. Each family has one or more plantations in which they plant and gather coconuts, taro, breadfruit, and other such crops that make up the staple Samoan diet. The Samoan way of life has remained intact for thousands of years and Samoans still remain completely self-sufficient. Essentially, the plantation provides a family's entire sustenance.

For some, 'culture day' meant enduring the native way-of-life under the hot tropic sun. For me, it was a chance to carry a machete. n addition to carrying a machete, I chopped a fallen tree to retrieve fire wood, and cracked open coconut shells to retrieve the coconut shavings all with my trusted machete. While I did help to scrap taro and coconuts, weave baskets, carry fire wood, fan food as the matais ate, and slice and prepare chickens that looked all too much like chickens, anything that didn't involve me and my machete simply is not worth mentioning.

*I will add pictures once I get back to capital

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