While we are on the topic of labels, I thought I would explore another label I have been smacked with in my time...
The funny thing is, I don't think I ever got called a Palagi by just about anyone until I lived in Samoa, and the people referring to me as Palagi were Samoans! If only they knew. Or even if they did know, would that have changed anything? I know a few times it would have because I bummed a few people out.
The most memorable was while out on my own watching some sport and very much minding my own business, I caught a man sitting further down from me confidently exclaiming to his friends in Samoan that I knew absolutely nothing about fa'asamoa. I looked up at the unfamiliar face just as one of his friends was telling the guy that I in fact did know something of fa'asamoa and understood what he was saying as he had heard me talking Samoan earlier. With all confidence gone, I never saw the guy again.
Sure I have fair skin, but what is it that possesses a Samoan to assume I am clueless about fa'asamoa? And to declare this right in-front of me?
One thing I know for sure is I am Samoan. I have a history, a culture and a tradition I share with every other Samoan, irrespective of where I was born.
This is me - Teine 'Afakasi.
2 hours ago