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I Like That
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Friday, May 4, 2012

Va Va Voom

Va is celebrated by the Samoans as a relationship that consistently defines and redefines itself in the space between two people, places and things. It is considered by the Samoan culture as a unique entity that contains unspoken expectations and obligations. Va is the inherent and changeable patterns of obligations and expectations between people and their environment.

A friend who has had direct experience with the people of Samoa brought Va to my attention. She explained that our North American sense of relationship has a great deal to do with how we feel about another person’s impact on you, while in the Samoan culture, the Va space is viewed as the stage upon which all patterns carry meaning. Each person is responsible for the condition of Va and so whatever meanings are held within Va are the responsibility of the person who put them there.

I love the way the word sounds and the tender vibration it produces on my lower lip. I’m learning to use it in my everyday conversations with people. I hope that Va can help me with my relationship with my son, reinforce my love for my husband, express gratitude toward my friends, and bring my passion for God to front of mind.

Vā is the space between, the between-ness, not empty space, not space that 
separates but space that relates, that holds separate entities and things together
in the Unity-that-is-All, the space that is context, giving meaning to things.  The 
meanings change as the relationships/contexts change.
Albert Wendt 

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