The Samoan Language: Why do Beauty Queens and Brisbane Mormons Need it?

This week’s column – I  take on the recent raging ruckus about the use of Samoan language in the Miss Samoa pageant AND that pesky Mormon church “banning” the use of Samoan in Brisbane.  And you have two options:

1. If you don’t feel like reading, you can WATCH/LISTEN to me tell you all about this column on YouTube. Click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7evc07tRJ4

2. You can read it on the Samoa Observer website. (see link below)

The Samoan language has been the hot topic lately – our right to speak it in Australian churches and local beauty pageants, whether or not it’s an “essential part of our identity, a gift from God”, or guaranteed to make it tough to get a job overseas, to only earn us “duck eggs”.

Sadly, I’ve never been a beauty pageant contestant (and my duck-egg silhouette ensures I probably never will) so I can’t comment on whether my verbal wizardry would have helped me win a shell crown.

I can say, that a Miss Samoa who can’t speak fluent English would be pretty useless because it doesn’t matter how we try to dress it up in tapa-cloth trappings, the role of our beauty queen is primarily Ambassadorial.

Sure, we like the illusion that she’s a demure, noble tamaita’i Samoa who spends her day making flower leis while reciting her family gafa, conversing knowledgeably on all
things cultural with matai barefoot in a fale somewhere, reading Bible stories to ragged village children (in Samoan of course) and always radiating purity. (And never sexuality.)

In that fantasy, yes, the Samoan language is essential…

Read the rest at the Samoa Observer Website: click here – http://www.samoaobserver.ws/opinion/opinion/7156-the-samoan-language–why-do-beauty-queens-and-brisbane-mormons-need-it

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