I stand corrected Tu'ikolovatu. The Hu lou ifi is one of our most sacred ritual (ordinance), a simple matter of interpretation. The recent Hu lou ifi by the people of Mu'a makes a mockery of this ritual.
Contrary to what you may think Mr. Tu'ikolovatu, there were numerous issues raised in the ever popular but arguably unliable telecoconut wireless of the Friendly Island.
1. Timing: Why did Mu'a wait this long. After almost 7 years after 16/11) to do this Hu lou ifi.
Telecoconut: The cultural functions and ceremonies for King George V Coronations has been dished out to villages all over the Kingdom. The cultural leaders of Mu'a have now realized that Mu'a has been given nothing. From reliable sources, this is because "His Majesty is still very unhappy with the burning of Uoleva". Mu'a to date has not included in any of the ceremonial functions. This is why the Hu lou ifi at this time, not because they are sorry for what happened to Uoleva.
2. Mu'a knows who burn down Uoleva.
Telecoconut: Form two brothers from Mu'a and very close friends of mine now residing in Pago Pago. We know Mu'a. We were born and raised there. Our roots are all in Mu'a. We know a lot about the people and a proud history that has been with them for generations of traditions and cultures. It is absolute absurd to even think that an outsider can come in and burn down an important real estate such as Uoleva without the knowledge of the local people. And, in the unlike event that they did not know, our people will not sleep until they find out who did this.
3. We drag our royal families into a mess they did not create.
Telecoconut: My behavior as a young renegade growing up in Kolomotu'a sent my mother and relatives to several families, teachers and village leaders to apologize for my action. They were not obligated to do so but my mother assumed the responsibility for my action simply because I am her son. I feel so sad and sorry that because of a few bad apples, Princess Pilolevu and the Fuifuilupe had to assume the responsibility to lead the Hu lou ifi out of respect to their late grandfather, Tungi. Unfortunately, the people of Mu'a did not see that Her Royal Highness and her children act of love did not merit any reciprocation. The most appropriate and befitting reciprocation is for the people of Mu'a to turn in the culprits.
Dog and Pony Show: From my former life, when an operating is not task organized to accomplish the intented mission, is nothing but a Dog and Pony show that waste time, material and money, demoralized the troops and diminish the sacredness and meaning of the operation and function. This recent Hu Louifi is one of those Dog and Pony Shows. It did not solve anything. Tu'ikolovatu may argue that that at least, the people of Mu'a went to talk to the King. Mighty fine, then call it a "Fakataha 'a e Famili", or anything else but definitely not a Hu lou ifi.
5. Solving the Problem
A few years ago, I was honored to be at a faikava that included the President of the SUTT, 'Alifeleti Mone. Unfortunately, it was during this faikava that the President received a phone call from Tonga informing him that, "Students from Toloa destroyed and burned down classrooms and other properties at Atele". Needless to say, he was very sad. I tried to bring back some good spirit to the faikava by making a bold suggestion and request to the President.
I asked him to give me 6 months as the Principal of Tupou College and I'll turn things around and guarantee him that Toloa will fight 'Atele or any other school after I am done with them. My plan was a simple plan. I'll provide incentive for both tutors and students to do good. There will be a well documented and advertised "pale pe me'a'ofa" to all who do good.
On the other hand, I will make sure there is also a no-nonsense severe penalty for failure and non compliance with my plan. I strongly believe that one of the top reasons why High School students continue to fight each other is because they have the support and encouragement of very influential people in the community. These people include but not limited to parents and especially teachers and tutors.
One of my simple rule to rugby coaches in all level would be: in the event of a fight that involves your team, if a board on inquiries determine that the situation was aggravated by the you the coach and members of his team, all will face diplomacy charges that can range from: suspension of players and or coaches; suspension of game for the whole team or suspension of those involved from school.
There have been so many prayer services for so long and it has not solved the problem. Until you deal with the culprits and their supporters as per the law, nothing is going to change.
The President did not take up my offer. A "monster prayer service" was held in Teufaiva to discuss the issues and settle the problem. Unfortunately, fighting between high school kids is getting worst.
Mafi 'o 'Upolu (you did not have to borrow a title name !!!) seem to miss the issue. By all means, the innocent part of the body of Mu'a can apologize for not being able to stop this tragedy. But, It must be understood that the Only True Spirit of Hu Lou Ifi is when the culprit is doing it. Precisely the same as the Ifoga of Samoa. Otherwise, it is a Dog and Pony Show.
HMHC Mafi 'o Amerika Samoa.
slkava [at] samoatelco [dot] com