Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Personal Space

Privacy and personal space are two things that do not exist in Samoa. It is really funny coming from America where everyone insists on having al ot of room and gets bad if someone will sit too close to you, as here it is not the case. It seems as though here it is natural to be as close to someone as you will be breathing on them. For examples at events in the communty everyone sits cross legged on the floor. People sit so close to each other that they are practically on top of each other. Also, you will find men and boys pretty much leaning on each other. It is strange to get used to, because in America it seems that there is a fear to get too close to sit next to someone.
Also people here are used to sharing everything. Their lives are an open book. There is nothing wrong with picking up someone's telephone and reading all of their text messages, or looking over someone's shoulders to read what they are writing. If someone receives a piece of mail, it is perfectly acceptable for anyone to pick it u and read it.
Because I am not used to this it is causing my little sister to believe that I have a secret uo that I am not telling her about. I don't want to give her permission to just grab my cell phone at any point because to me it does not seem right.
Plenty of times I will find out that my sisters or brother have just picked up my camera and began taking pictures of random things and although I trust them...I still know their record for breaking things, and if they were to break my camera, I wouldn't be able to afford a substitue for it, especially right away.
I tried talking to them about how they should ask permission before they take something, but because that is non Samoan, they do not understand it.
Maybe by the end of this expeirence I will be a more patience person, or maybe they will just become more Americanized..
I guess in two years time I will figure it out.

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