Fa'asamoa or Fa'a Samoa literally means the ways of Samoa. Fa'a is a Samoan prefix that can be translated to English as 'the ways of'. Fa'a could also mean 'to do' or 'to implement' as in the word Fa'atonu (which means 'to implement a solution' or 'to instruct'). The fa'asamoa is connected to the Fa'amatai or Samoan traditional political, village, and family system.
The fa'asamoa consists of the Samoan language, and customs of relationships and culture, that is a traditional and continuing Polynesian lifestyle of the Pacific Islands and diaspora. This is how Samoans are raised and live, and provides support and direction to individuals within family and political structures.
The most important concept of the fa'asamoa includes the way you stand, walk and speak. Everyone regardless of age ought to know how to stand, how to walk (by saying Tulou when you are walking in front of someone sitting), and most importantly, people will be able to determine if you are a true Samoan through the way you talk.
The fa'asamoa is practiced in all nine islands of Samoa, including American Samoa and Western Samoa, and other Samoan islands (such as Manua and Aunuu in American Samoa), and by many diaspora Samoan families in Aotearoa-New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, and the United States.
When missionaries arrived from Europe in 1830, they found that many Samoan cultural beliefs were similar to Christianity, which contributed to the spread of Christianity in 19th century Samoa. An example of these shared beliefs is the concept of respecting and honoring elders -- even powerless elders. In the fa'asamoa, the young respect anyone that is older than them, especially their parents.
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