Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Departure Aftershocks


Culture is a deep and unspoken way of life. When amidst your own culture, it is hard to fathom that you have a culture at all. When outside of your familiar world, you can offend without even realizing it until it boils to the surface in anger.

Today the President of the Women’s Committee gave me a strong reprimand for not telling her when my children were leaving the village. The Committee wanted to have a farewell tea for a proper Samoan goodbye. This was unknown to me. How is a person to know what to do if no one gives a hint about proper etiquette?

If you meet a foreigner who offends you, be kind and instructional. They probably just don’t know.

1 comment:

Barb Carusillo said...

Wow! Guess mind reading is not a skill you have picked up as yet of the Samoan way. When we visit our daughter, we will have to mention this to may not be the same outside a little village though.