Wednesday, March 5, 2008



Today is asiasiga in our village. People have been working for the past two weeks, and feverishly this last week preparing for the Women’s Committee to inspect their homes and property. This is to make sure the homes meet village standards for health and appearance. It is one reason why Samoan villages look so pretty and clean. It is also a time to make sure families are not falling through the cracks. In a way it is like American property and health codes, but with more teeth, because the omen’s Committee assesses fines, which is their primary source of revenue.

The most visible preparatory activity is cutting grass. All sorts of techniques are employed to trim the tropical grass. The most common is cutting grass with a machete, next is using a whippersnipper (Weedwacker), and the slowest, but most ecologically friendly, a horse. Weeding of flower gardens and roadways is meticulously done by hand.

When I first arrived in Samoa, I thought asiasiga and the hours in preparation were the dumbest use of time and energy. I now question my earlier judgment. What a wonderful way for people who have little not to lose sight of life’s beauty.
Yesterday, I weeded the flower garden by hand. I am ready for asiasiga. Don’t the flowers look nice?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Who'd a thunk Nick Shuraleff would have the most manicured lawn on the block!?! If only Frank could have implemented asiasiga back on Kenney Place . . . I'm sending you a gas-powered leaf blower. ;) Ann B.