Honorific Protocol Book Publication Delayed In Samoa

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Work contains information about traditional salutations

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Sept. 27, 2012) – The latest book of honorifics – Tusi Faalupega has been delayed upon the advice of the Advisory Council to Cabinet in Samoa.

The latest edition was to have been a review of the first book put out by the special cultural consultative Committee – ‘Komiti o le Faleula’ which works under the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development.

The honorifics are crucial salutations that set the hierarchy of chiefs and orators in each village and how they relate to other villages and districts around the country and is a vital part of the protocol for any cultural presentations and meetings.

The book was to be a revised copy of the original book launched years ago and has been in the pipeline for sometime. However the work has caused dissatisfaction amongst various villages and districts.

Talamua sources say the Council advised to delay the launch to give the dissatisfied villages and districts an opportunity to revise the content with the Komiti o le Faleula. Sources say that several villages and districts have voiced their disappointment with the way their district’s honorifics and salutations – fa’alupega have been changed or lumped together with other districts.

Sources told Talamua that in Upolu alone, ten percent of the districts have complained about the first book of ‘faalupega’ saying that wrong information had been attributed to their districts. The complainants believe that once the wrong information is published, it will "mislead the future generations."

A complainant from the district of Falealili believes that "the changes and mistakes in recording the proper honorifics and salutations have and will result in the people and villages and districts losing their rights to what they have been entitled to for past centuries."

Attempts to get a comment from the Secretary of the Komiti o le Faleula, Agaimalo Vailima of the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development (MWCSD) were unsuccessful. However, an official with the Internal Affairs division confirmed that the book has not been launched but gave no reason why.

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