✰ [BOOKS] ✸ Where We Once Belonged By Sia Figiel ✽ – Multi-channel.co

Alofa Hei T Liebe Alofa Hei T Auch Das Widerborstige M Dchen, Das Sich Nichts Gefallen L T, Um Ihr Zerbrechliches Ich Zu Sch Tzen Umstellt Von Berlieferten Tabus Und Verboten, Unbeeindruckt Von Der Verlogenheit Der Erwachsenen, W Chst Sie Auf In Ihrer M Dchenclique Mit Kung Fu Filmen, Wella Apfelshampoo Und CornflakesIhr Name Ist Aber Zugleich Ein Schweres Erbe Die Familie, Die Dorfgemeinschaft Setzt Hoffnung In Sie, Sie Kann Die Tradition Retten Doch Dann Wird Sie Eines Abends Mit Dem Sohn Des Pfarres ErwischtDie Wortk Nstlerin Sia Figiel L T Sich Von Der M Ndlichen Erz Hltradition Samoas Inspirieren Ihre Sprache Ist Respektlos Wie Ihre Heldin, Funkelnd Wie Das Quirlige Stadtleben, Tiefgr Ndig Wie Die Alten Erz Hlungen Von Geistern Und G Ttern, Von Fliegenden Hunden Und Magischen V Geln

10 thoughts on “Where We Once Belonged

  1. says:

    I read this book when I visited Tutuila in September of 2001 My father was dying in the ICU of LBJ medical center I had flown in from San Diego to Honolulu to Tutuila the night before I d had litlle sleep and after just a few hours at my dad s bedside, was in dire need of a mental break So I drove to the one bookstore I knew to search for something to distract my tired brain I found this book and started reading I couldn t put it down I had to keep checking the front to make sure that author was in fact a Samoan To say I was captivated was an understatement The fictional character mirrored so much of my experience growing up that I found myself crying, angry and an emotional wreck by the time I was finished I went to check on my dad at the hospital and found that he had requested to be discharged so he could be home with me So we took him home I later decided to call my old high school because I read that Sia at that point was teaching at my old high school of all places I chanced it bc I so wanted this woman to autograph my book before I left for the mainland again A young voice answered and said, Just a moment, because I had asked if may speak to Sia Figel For a second I thought, I d lost all my freaking marbles What Now Sia answered stating her name And I went into a very frantic spiel of how I d read her book and how my name was Sia too And that her book made me cry because it was my own story mirrored, and that we were the same age except she grew up in Upolu whereas I did in tutuila And I humbly begged her if she could autograph my book because I d be leaving in a few days Things got quiet So I steeled myself for the news She then went into sort of a self talk with what I thought was an adorable New Zealand accent These kinds of things usually happen only in book signings I had sort of stopped listening because everything had been way too easy so far so this had to be the end of this silliness And then I thought I heard her ask if I could meet her Barneys Luckily I remembered Barneys bc I had had lunch there with some old high school mates I met Sia Figel that night I asked her how we d figure out who each other was and she laughed and said she was 6 feet tall and had short kinky hair and shouldnt be hard to miss She was right Sia was bigger than life I felt like I d known her all my life Every Samoan should read Where we once belonged Like Alice Walker experienced when she wrote The Color Purple It didnt portray the men of her culture in the brightest of lights Why would anyone like being portrayed as brutal and mysogynistic Similar dismissals such as it being a girlie read is neither unusual nor surprising Its a favorite tool thats been used against women of all cultures for ages Individualism is often depicted as akin to poison to our culture s intact ferocity to preserve old traditions and having the family unit being the number one entity to worship In this world of free thinkers, Young Samoan intellectuals are struggling to find a voice They are not the enemy They are the future.

  2. says:

    I read this book because it s rare to find books set in the Pacific Islands, and it is also rare to find many books written by people from the Pacific Islands In the case of this book, we get a short coming of age story centred on a young girl growing up in a poor fale, with little education, very little money, and little contact with, or knowledge, of the outside world Something that I found particularly interesting about the book, is how it really takes this lack of knowledge from the main character s point of view, and gives us lots of insight into it We see them try to piece together the puzzle that is the greater world, with only half of the pieces It s because of this naivety, and the slight epiphanies that begin to occur, that make the main character really interesting and real to me You can feel the frustration on their part as knowledge is withheld from them.Something else that s quite interesting and unique about the book is its storytelling techniques For one thing, its presented in a sort of episodic format, with no attention paid to its chronological order, but what makes it interesting are the constant mythological and folklore stories, and the imagery derived from said stories, that are spread throughout.Overall, I thought it to be a short, interesting read It gives an idea of what its like to grow up in such a place, and it really, really feels accurate , even if the main character s point of view can leave you questioning what actually happens near the end.

  3. says:

    This book won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Fiction in South East Asia and Pacific 1997 so I was excited about reading my first Samoan novel written by a Samoan woma There is no doubt this novel deserves the pr ize, but it is dark and violent on the back cover the word brutal is used for the story and so not something I enjoyed It is a coming of age story of Alofa who starts at 13 but much of this book is when she is close to 17, and yet some of it is from many different times Some of it is told in poetry, although it is a novel Some of it is told in the traditional Samoan story telling style which to a Pacific Northwest born and raised person is difficult to follow at times, not to mention that the little glossary was woefully inadequate, even though there were times when translation was given.Alofa which means love lives in a part of Samoan culture not sure if this prevailed all over Samoa where beating one s wife and children seems to have been quite acceptable, among other violence.I can t give lower than one star, but really, Sia Figiel writes very well, so that star is full of praise for her ability to write, I just did not like it.

  4. says:

    I give Where We Once Belonged 4 stars thanks in part to having some context with which to read this book About a teenaged girl growing up in Samoa, the book may seem a bit disjointed to Western readers a category into which I fall That said, I ve spent a lot of time in Hawaii, a place where Polynesian culture is very much alive The Hawaiian and Samoan languages are very similar, as both are Polynesian languages It wasn t a stretch for me to figure out which letters were different, i.e Alofa and Aloha are the same things, just in Samoan an F is used wherein Hawaiian a H would be used Also, the glossary in the back was super helpful.What s unique, and a bit challenging, about Where We Once Belonged is that it is a novel, which is a Western invention, written by a Samoan voice using Samoan culture, which is very much not Western As a result, the novel can seem at times, incoherent and off, as many non Western novels can appear to Western audiences.That said, Figiel does a great job at capturing what it s like to be a teenaged girl growing up in a culture that is struggling to keep its traditional values while claiming some place in the modern world Figiel dives into just what it means to be female and marginalized in a culture that is rapidly becoming antiquated by modern standards Where is her place as a traditional Samoan woman and as a modern educated woman Can she be both While I can only relate superficially to some of the issues Figiel speaks of once I was a teenaged girl I found Figiel s writing powerful enough to truly impress upon me the issues that she faced as a young woman I greatly enjoyed this book, but I knew it would not read in a standard linear fashion, so I was not caught off balance when it didn t.This book is enlightening and worth the read, just go in knowing that it s told through a unique culture s voice Don t fight it, just let the melody wash over you.

  5. says:

    Captivating, rich unapologetic.

  6. says:

    Great book dealing with cultural identity and the role of women within this cultural background I ve enjoyed learning a bit about Samoan mythology.

  7. says:

    Where We Once Belonged adapts the participative Samoan storytelling form of su ifefiloi to tell the story of Alofa Filiga, an adolescent girl navigating Samoan society and the treacherous waters of near adulthood Su ifefiloi means a woven garland of flowers As a narrative technique, it refers to the stringing together of individual stories or episodes, each separate and unrelated like flower blossoms, but coming together to create a cohesive whole In Where We Once Belonged, unlike in a traditional bildungsroman with its characteristic single transformative episode, anecdotes and poetry follow one another without regard to order or continuity The story emerges slowly, and there are a multitude of turning points This piecemeal style is particularly well suited to a portrayal of adolescence, teetering on the edge of adulthood, the battery of experience juxtaposed with a sustained innocence, the difficulties of becoming an adult, and specifically of becoming a woman, revealed slowly and partially.This is an excerpt from a longer review on my blog, Around the World in 2000 Books.

  8. says:

    Ok, this book totally lost me.Not sure if it was the Samoan language creaping into the English text, or whether it was down to it just not making sense with its mythical fantasy excerpt, which then swifty swung into chapters focusing on abused and ratially discriminated against women.I found the whole thing confusing Way way too many characters that made no impact on me enough to be able to tell you who they were, how they are linked, or why they featured in the story.I m glad to have experienced a book writen by a Samoan writer I m not sure I ll try another though

  9. says:

    This book might have been better than I ll rate it by this time in my semester I am tired of books about abused women, ratially discriminated against women, etc and longing for some good old fashined fairy tales So I didn t really enjoy this book Actually, I was somewhat offended by the things that she chose to share, and I ve read some pretty seemy books lately This one just seemed to really rub me the wrong way.

  10. says:

    I could not love this, although I tried One star may be a bit harsh, but I can t get to OK.