13 Jan 2009

American Samaon governor urges promotion of Samoan

1:35 pm on 13 January 2009

American Samoa's Governor has called on traditional leaders, the Fono, churches and community groups to work together to promote even more the Samoan language and culture.

In his first address to the nation after his swearing ceremony, Togiola Tulafono says the dichotomy of being American and Samoan has presented challenges for not just young people.

He says questions by young of their identity, of their dual cultures, suggest that American Samoans may have moved too far too fast.

He says in a desire to be modern and global, they have failed to teach, and demonstrate by example, the true values of fa'a-Samoa.

"Social problems, particularly in the area of youth development are real and serious. We are struggling to respond, with the First Lady's programme, ta'ita'i tama and similar programmes, these are awareness programmes the problems demand realistic attitudes and practical responses from all of us."

Togiola says American Samoans must rise to preserve the best of what they still have.