Radio New Zealand International reports this week that American Samoa’s Governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, has expressed concern that English is becoming the dominant language of youth, and is becoming a threat to Samoan culture and way of life. In his State of the Territory address he says the Samoan culture is rooted in values such as respect and sharing, and children are schooled from an early age to respect their elders. However, the Governor says that the growing incidents of disrespectful acts shown by the youth against their elders is indicative of a culture that is beginning to lose its values and meaning to the young people.
He has proposed that through the Office of Samoan Affairs, village councils and village rules should be reactivated and practiced so young people are exposed to values that will help them succeed in life. He has also called for a collective effort to perpetuate and preserve cultural values, one that involves the community, churches and government.
Lolo says it is important for young people and future generations to be proud of their cultural heritage and identity.