A letter to my sister before her TED Talk

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Dearest Jody,

fotuWhen I first heard that you have been selected after a lengthy competitive process to be one of the featured TEDx Talkers in Tauranga this weekend. I was pleasantly surprised. I was surprised not because it was unexpected, but rather that you have delved so deeply into the cultural values instilled in us by  Tuisafua. You were selected to share the fagogo, an art that is so truly treasured and revered deep within the hearts and minds of every single one of our female ancestors. Your pursuit of this cultural art form is truly inspiring and no doubt brings deep pride to our mother.

This is the culmination of all those years of listening to our elders as they talk into the night, negotiating the intricacies of family fa’alavelaves, of folding, folding, running, walking, sitting and never missing a step while holding the ietoga in the early hours of the morning, in the late hours of the nights, in every conceivable location on the rugged island of Salafai. This is the culmination of our ancestors hopes for us, to continue the practice of the Fa’asamoa and to hold true to our language. This here, is us.

As you prepare for your talk and as you spiritually and physically focus on your fagogo, know that we are praying for you, a prayer that our ancestors prayed before war, a prayer of good intentions, a prayer of good will and deep meaningful hope for any warrior or chief as they face a challenge. This is you Jody, you, like many before you, like many that will follow, carrying the torch for the Fa’aSamoa and for all things Samoan.

On a more serious note, you are fucking amazing, and I am so proud of you, and this opportunity that you have pursued and will use as an avenue to create more awareness about our culture.

As someone whom you once tried to drown and whom had to eat all your guava scraps as you were the better climber in our childhood, I salute you sister, this is your moment, go forth and shine bright like a diamond 😉

You are the mother of Moelagi and Tuifiti, o lou taimi lenei.

Make use proud

Love,

Matou Uma.

O le tusi a Lagipoiva ia Tupaimatuna I le alo atu I le TEDx Tauraga

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Tupai,

Ina ua ou logo tala I luga o upega tafailagi ua tofia oe e avea ma se failauga I le fonotaga o le TEDx I Tauraga i Niu Sila, ou te ta’utino atu lava, na fa’ateia a’u. E le’I o’o lava so’u manatu o le a tofia oe I lenei ituaiga fa’asoa, aua e pei lava e tele lou tomai ma lou naunautaiga I failauga a papalagi, e pei ona iai lou tofi I le taimi nei, I le Iunivesete Aoao fa’a Tekinolosi o Aukilani. Ae fa’apea, o lo’u te’I, o se te’i fiafia ma se te’I fa’ane’ene’e ona ua ausia e seisi lava o lo’u lava tino, e puna mai i le Tuisafua, le na fa’amoemoe iai le Tagaloa, i lenei tulaga.

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O lou ausia o lenei fa’atasiga failauga Fa’aperetania o se la’asaga maoa’e ma matagofie. O se la’asaga e tatau ma ono iai le fa’aeaea a le Tuisafua, le Va’asili, le Tevaga, le Tauo, le Leilua, le Toleafoa, le Tupai, le Lealali ma le Sao. E ono iai le sa’asa’a fa’a Tausala a le Masina Sao, le Iliganoa fa’apea ma le Lagipoiva.

 

O le tofia o oe e avea ma leo e momoli atu ai le lauusiusi o tala tu’u a le tatou atunu’u, ua manino mai ai le auga tonu lava na fa’ae’e atu ai e Tuisafua le Tupaimatuna ia te oe. O oe o le alo o Lealali ma le Malelegaaletoelau, o oe na e tala gafa I Toga na tupuga mai ai le Vaasiliifiti. O oe o Tupaimatuna, le o le a fa’aleoina talatu’u ma tala o le vavau.

O oe lava o le toa, ua e fa’amitamitaina lenei tagata I au aga. Atonu e fa’atusa lenei sagisagi atu I le fiafia a le manu ua tau atu I se fuga o se la’au, e fa’atusa i le sulugia o le ao ina ua pai atu I ave o le la I le taeao po.

Ia alo atu ia ou faiva aua le fa’alauaiteleina o le iloa ma le malamalama o tagata lautele o le atu Pasefika, ma le lalolagi atoa I lenei tomai o le fai fago’go.  O oe o le tina o Moelagi ma le Tuifiti, o toa ia e teu fatu I lou loto a’o e alo atu i au sauniuniga.

Ia tafetoto ou ala.

Ia fa’agaganaina oe

Ia tu Ieova I lo ta va.

 

Uso,

O ou mama na.

Malo le fa’aeaea aiga.