(Amerika Sāmoa/Sāmoa Amelika)
- Location: Pacific Ocean
- Capital: Pago Pago
- Language: Samoan
- Population: 67,190
- Total Area: 197.1 sq km
- Currency: US Dollar
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 3.8 liters
- Curious Alcohol Fact: Kava is a traditional Samoan intoxicating drink. It is made by grinding up the roots of a pepper plant and mixing it with water. When the brew is finished it has the appearance of muddy water, and is said to have quite a medicinal taste, but taste is not why the locals drink it. They drink it because it has a nice, sedative effect.
- The most popular drink: Vailima is the locally brewed beer of American Samoa, and is a golden German-styled pilsner. The name Vailima means “water in hand.”
Many people have heard of Pago Pago but haven’t the slightest idea where it is. Well, Pago Pago is the capital of American Samoa, a lovely group of islands that welcome visitors with spectacular beaches, wonderful hiking, and enchanting waterfalls. And if you’re into snorkeling, the islands offer clear water and bountiful reefs that are all part of the National Park of American Samoa. If one is in need of peace and quiet and contemplative relaxation, American Samoa is the perfect destination.
As if the surroundings weren’t wonderful enough, the people of American Samoa make this place a modern day Shangri La. Step foot onto the main island and you are instantly welcomed by the locals and invited to join in as they sing their native songs in the streets and on the sidewalks. As a general rule, Samoans are a very courteous group of people who like to show and receive respect. Some famous Samoans are Troy Polamalu, a safety forthe Pittsburgh Steelers, and MosiTatupu of the New England Patriots.
Food has traditionally played an important role in the lives and culture of Samoans. Should you be so lucky to be invited to a Samoan celebration, be prepared to feast on some of the tastiest dishes you will ever eat. For instance, Fiafia is a dish made of a suckling pig, or other meats, wrapped in taro leaves and cooked in the umu, or pit oven.Also, Supoesi is a breakfast soup made from pawpaw fruit and coconut cream. I know, who’s ever heard of a breakfast soup? But trust me, it’s a refreshing choice on a hot, sticky tropical morning. And another favorite (and a recipe I’m having the darndest time copying) is a simple and ridiculously delicious all-purpose sauce made from onions and coconut cream, called Pe'epe'e.
American Samoan’s drink a variety of beverages, but their favorites are Coca-Cola (you’d be hard-pressed most days to walk down the street and not count at least ten Samoans with a can in their hand), Coconut water from fresh coconuts, Kava the American Samoan national drink made from the roots of a pepper plant and water, and the locally brewed pilsner ale called Vailima.
Celebrations and Holidays
American Samoans have a lovely tradition called ‘White Sunday’ which is celebrated on the second Sunday in October. On this day, church services are conducted by children who sing traditional songs and recite Bible verses and present plays. All the children wear their best and newest white outfits, hence the name White Sunday. After church the children are served a meal at home featuring special foods.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).
Jenna Bruce, Fairlee, VT
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