Seventy-eight-year-old Auimatagi Iupeli, from the village of Malie, says the young people of today are different from the youth of his time.
Speaking to the Village Voice, he expresses how sad it is to see the lack of interest the children have in their culture and in God.
He says they would rather sit around all day and play on their phones instead of helping their elders and others.
“I migrated to New Zealand a while ago but my heart never left Samoa for one second,” Auimatagi told the Village Voice.
“When returned I just got back into the life I left behind. It’s not hard to get back to the rhythm of home when your heart remains here. There is no greater joy than that.”
Although he went to Marist, Auimatagi says he learnt the most important lessons of life at the Pastor’s classes.
“Going to a pastor’s house taught me everything I know in life. I will never forget the lessons I was taught over there.”
“I was taught how to write, how to count, my vowels while I was still young. I would attend the pastor’s classes every day. We would use stone tablets to write on back then. We didn’t have books back then.”
“We would go and place our stone tablets on the floor of the fale Samoa and start learning.”
Without technology complicating anything, Auimatagi says everything was great and simple when he was growing up.
“Those days were so nice and simple,” he said.
“We never ran into any problems back then and everything was alright. We were taught lifelong lessons in those days. Morals such as putting our family first were also taught.”
“We were also disciplined to take the pastors classes and Sunday school seriously. If I were to skip Sunday school then I would sit at home and just think about the broom that will hit me later.”
“By the time we have our Sunday lunch, I would already have a nice tattoo in the shape of a broom for not going to the Sunday school.”
“No matter how tired I am when I was young, I would force myself to wake up and go to church classes for two reasons. Because I was scared of the consequences if I miss out, and because I knew how useful the lessons are for my life.”
Auimatagi feels sad as he look at how zombie-like the young people are these days with a phone screen always in their faces.
“Nowadays I see a lot of the children waking up in the morning then their hands go straight to their phones,” he said.
“They start pressing away on those devices rather than getting lifelong lessons from their elders. The times have really changed and it’s nothing good at all.”
“Parents now don’t spend enough time with their children, they just give them these devices to look at and play around with.”
“I don’t see the value of church in their eyes. They just don’t understand how vital those bible lessons are for them to grow up with a good life.”