Social Life in Samoa
The people of Samoa are very humble and modest as they rarely
express themselves in a way to offend another. This comes in respecting other people,
dressing modestly, avoiding outward signs of wealth or affection, and having a reverence
for God as most people are Christian.
As a visitor to Samoa, that same modesty is expected; modesty
in dress, actions, words, and every aspect of your life. Many of the most important
behavioral restrictions to be aware of are related to dress, dating (see below for
both), and dining (see our Samoa Food & Dining
Page for more information). Also try to avoid being loud, rude, showing
off wealth, or getting drunk in public.
The clothing of the Samoans is a combination of past and present
as western-styled clothes are popular, but often times in a style and pattern that
reflects Samoa's heritage. Both men and women often wear a lava lava,
which is a piece of cloth worn around the waist (or even as high as the chest) and
reaches to at least the knees on women. The styles and designs of these differ,
but they are often worn with western-styled tops including dress shirts and military
uniforms. For ceremonial occasions men generally still wear a lava lava
or an ie, which is similar, as well as all types of shirts. Women tend
to wear puletasi, which is a fitted top and a lava lava on the
bottom for these ceremonial events.