20 October 2011

O Vaea ma le Tui Fiti

If you didn't know, my ICS major has a language requirement. Not just two semesters of the same language, or three, but 4 semesters (as in we have to complete up to the highest level of that language track) At first I thought to take French, since I had studied it all through high school and had a challenging, but rewarding teacher. But then I thought it would be cool to instead take Samoan and have first hand help from my fiance at the time (James).
During 101, I didn't take the class seriously and therefore struggled and kept mixing up Hawaiian words with Samoan. (Got an A though) But during 102, I really pushed myself and was able to understand word order, vocabulary, simple conversations and translations. I even learned to say an opening prayer to start class or to give a blessing on food. Now I've made it to 201 (3rd Semester-Intermediate Samoan), and I thought it would be scary/intimidating, but not at all. It's still very challenging, especially now that  I'm in a smaller class alongside RM's and fluent native speakers....but it's been very fun so far. I'm still lost at times, but James and I realized how far I've come. Now I think I know more Samoan than Hawaiian, actually I do, sad, haha. Anyways, our semester is filled with studying legends. I'm amazed that I can read a story now & know what's going on (of course it takes me a while to put pieces together). Today I had to memorize a legend and perform it to my class WITHOUT notes. Here's a portion of what I had to say:
"Ua malama le taeao, ma 'ua ala Tui Fiti ma lona auva'a, 'ae peta'i o lo latou va'a 
ua iai i luga o tumutumu o la'au. Sa 'aioi atu Tui Fiti 'ia Vaea, e fa'asaoina o latou ola. Sa fai atu Vaea e 'aumai le afafine o Tui Fiti, o Apa'ula. 

Sa 'auina e Tui Fiti ni tagata e to'atolu i Fiti e 'aumai 'Apa'ula. Sa taunu'u mai 'Apa'ula 'i Samoa ma 'ua fa'aipoipo ma Vaea. Sa mavae ni nai aso. Sa fai atu Tui Fiti 'ia Vaea, ole'a latou toe fo'i 'i Fiti. Sa fiaalu 'Apa'ula e toe fo'i ma lona tama. I lena lava po so sola 'o ia 'i le va'a ma 'ua latou sosola loa i Fiti."

This legend could basically pass for a Samoan soap opera, because of it's drama, haha. It talks about a strong and handsome Vaea and a jealous Fijian King (Tui Fiti) who seeks to kill him (fasioti). However Vaea proves his strength to Tui Fiti by placing his va'a up in a tree one night. Both Tui Fiti and his auva'a (crew) awaken and plead for their lives, "Sa 'aioi atu Tui Fiti ia Vaea, e fa'asaoina o latou ola". Vaea then asks for the hand of Tuifiti's afafine (daughter) Apa'ula. After she is brought from Fiji to Samoa to wed (fa'aipoipo), Vaea allows Tui Fiti to return to Fiji, but Apa'ula "I lena lava po, sa sola o ia i le va'a" escapes to her Dad's boat that night and returns with him to Fiji.
BUT, she soon gives birth, however Tui Fiti kills the baby because he doesn't want his lineage tarnished. Heartbroken Apa'ula returns back to Samoa but, "ua liu mauga Vaea 'ae toe lava o lona ulu e le'i liu mauga".....Vaea turns into a mountain except for his head and thus very heartbroken tells Apa'ula to leave. Now there is a mountain in Samoa named after Vaea.

I'm sure James is happy he doesn't have to hear me reciting it anymore. 
Tofa. Manuia le aso.

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