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The Samoan social structure
Village life evolves around the home for women, and the plantation or sea for men. School education is not considered of great importance, and although most children do go to school, it very often finishes at midday.

After school, it's back to the village way: smaller kids help out at home by sweeping the garden, whist the older girls help wash the clothes and the older boys go to the plantation. At the end of the day the youth gathers on the village green to play kiriti (a wild local form of cricket), volleyball, touch rugby and to bath in the sea.

Traditional dance is common in village life and is quite different to the displays put on for tourists at the hotels and for national events. In the village, the dance is more spontaneous, more lively and accompanied by laughter and jokes. Samoans, like all peoples of the South Pacific, are known for their love of feasting. Every Sunday, after church, the umu commences - pigs, fish and rootcrops are prepared in banana leaves and cooked in an underground oven for several hours or more depending on the size of the feast. For large events such as weddings, an oven may take up to six hours to cook.

Whilst all these scenes are happening in every day life, nothing in Samoa can be depended upon. To visit a village you must be prepared to go with the flow - even if you try to prearrange a specific activity. The village functionality comes first and if there is an unexpected event such as a death or the visit of a church pastor, then all else will be put on hold.