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Growing Up In Samoa in the 1920s

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  • Last Updated : 10 Jun, 2022
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Gender is a term that is used to differentiate between two types of individuals present in a community. It will not only stop there but it goes on discriminating against two individuals based on their gender. It is also used to determine our actions like what we do, who we are, what we will become, where we can go, the life choices we have, etc. These thoughts are fed to over mind since from birth. Gender is a term that is used to define biological distinctions between males and females. Now it is used to understand the money of the inequalities and power relations between men and women in society. Here we come across how girls and boys are brought up or socially differentiated. The term socialization is not uniform and is socially determined which is continuously changing over time.

Growing up as boys and girls

As soon as a child takes birth he is discriminated against in one or other ways which further goes on to describe the kind of work they can do, the work they can choose. A boy or a girl is an important identification mark used to identify an individual. Based on whether it’s a boy or girl society goes on teaching us the acceptable behavior of each boy and girl, the kind of work they can do or cannot do. The society we live in cannot see that both boys and girls are the same. Different kinds of roles are assigned to them in order to prepare them for the upcoming future. It is true that most societies will look at work done by men and women in a different way. The work done by a man is given more importance than that done by a woman. There are so many inequalities between men and women which emerge in the area of work.

Growing up in Samoa in the 1920s

In the Pacific Ocean in the southern part, a large group of small islands is named as Samoa Islands. Samoa is Polynesian Island. Mulifanua is considered as oldest Island of Samoa. Archaeologists have found some pyramids and stone works that had been around 3000 years ago. According to research reports society of Samoa was well aware of the social equality among boys and girls in the early 1920s itself. The younger children in the 1920s were seen to be engaged in the occupations which they learned from their parents and ancestors. They have not seen or heard anything about educational society.

The responsibilities are given to boys and girls

Even if they didn’t go to school they were thought by their parents in such a manner that there was an almost similar division of work labor among boys and girls in Samoa. They learned many things such as how to take care of children or do household work from elder children and from adults. Fishing was the most important activity on Samoa island. Therefore the younger children were learning how to undertake long fishing expeditions taught by their parents. 

Growing up as a boy in Samoa

When a boy is born in Samoan society he is taken care of by his mother and few adults in the family. Their mothers and other adults will get rid of that boy when the boy grows a little bit and learns how to walk. More often the children as young as 5 years old are given the responsibility of taking care of these small baby boys. This responsibility is shared by both boy and girl children of the same age group of 5 years. Under the guidance of the children, those babies will grow. Again once that boy reaches the age of 5 years old he has been given that same responsibility of taking care of smaller children. This is continued until that boy reaches the age of 9 years. Once that boy becomes 9 years old he gets rid of taking care of smaller children. He is sent with other elder boys to learn fishing and planting coconut trees. Fishing and planting were the only jobs which most people of Samoa were depending for their livelihood. Planting coconut trees and fishing were the main important outdoor jobs that were taught to children of 9 years old. These two jobs fetched some recognizable amount of money. This is continued until they become teenagers. When the boy is little experienced he is sent to learn lengthy fishing expeditions. Cooking was done in special cooking houses in which major cooking tasks were handled by boys.

Growing up as a girl in Samoa

When a girl is born in Samoan society she is taken care of by the mother and other younger children. When the baby girl learns how to walk she has been no longer taken care of by the mother and will be left with the children at around 5 years old to be taken care of by them. Both the boys’ and girls’ children of 5 years of age were given the responsibility of taking care of baby children. Once the boy becomes 5 years old he is sent on learning outdoor jobs. But the girls are left with the greater responsibility of taking care of these smaller children. The girl’s willow to take this responsibility until they become teenagers. They will have to feed smaller children, ensure that they are doing well with their health, and take care of them. Once a girl becomes a teenager she has been given much more freedom. They were left to play and enjoy their childhood. After the age of 14 girls were allowed to go on a fishing trip, work in the plantations, and learned how to weave baskets. Only girls and women were trained to weave baskets which adds extra income for their families. The girls were supposed to help the boys in the preparation of food. The girls were not given the major responsibility of cooking but they were supposed to help with minor preparations.

Sample Questions

Question 1: What is Samoa?

Answer :

Samoa islands are the large group of small islands. These group of islands are found in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean.

Question 2: What is gender? How based on gender society differentiates.

Answer :

Gender is the most important character which is used to identify an individual. The individuals are categorized male and female individuals based on gender. The society based on gender goes on teaching boys and girls the acceptable behavior, the kind of work they can choose and the kind of work they cannot, the responsibility they have to take on.

Question 3: What are the responsibilities given to the girls of age 14 years?

Answer :

After the age of 14 years, girls were given much more freedom and were allowed to go on fishing trips, working in the plantations, how to waving a basket.     

Question 4: Explain the responsibilities given to boys in Samoa in 1920?

Answer:

The baby boys were taken care of by their mothers are older children or teenage girls. Once the boy becomes 9 years old he was allowed to learn skills of fishing and plantations. After the boy reaches 15 years he was completely given responsibility of outdoor works.

Question 5: What do you understand by the term Growing up as boys and girls?

Answer:

Boy or a girl is an important identification mark used to identify a individual. Based on whether it’s a boy or girl the society goes on teaching us the acceptable behavior of each boy and girl, the kind of work they can do or cannot do. The society we live in cannot see that both boys and girls are the same. Different kind of roles are assigned them in order to prepare them for the upcoming future. It is true that most of the societies will look at work done by men and women in a different way. The work done by a man is given more importance than that is done by a woman. There are so many inequalities between men and women which emerge in the area of work.

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