The Governor and my blog

(Note: This post is neither driven nor initiated by name-dropping or any obsequiousness - explicit or otherwise. Rather it is to point out an anticipated ambiguity that I was aware of when I started my blog, especially with reference to its name and title.)

Two days ago, the Samoa Observer printed an article (here) on the inauguration of the new Governor of American Samoa. The event was held at the “Malae o le Talu” - an historic malae (open field). As you may have noticed - if you had clicked on the link - the name of the malae was incorrectly rendered as “Malae o Letalu”.  So in good faith I submitted the following comment (recalled from memory because it has since been removed):

LOL!  If I'm not mistaken the venue/location of the inauguration should be “Malae o le Talu” and not "Malae o Letalu". This is interesting because the latter is the title and name of my blog. In fact, this is what I posted in my blog to avoid the ambiguity:

For those in the know, the [blog] title - more phonetic than syntactic- can also be a pun on “Malae o le Talu”, a familiar and important historic malae in American Samoa where, in 1900, Tutuila - the main island - was ceded to the United States.

The irony in all this, is that one of the names/titles of the new Governor is Letalu. And so for the namesake, and at least for this particular occasion, your reporter/writer can be exonerated. Notwithstanding, thank you for the blog promotion; and best wishes to the new governor.
The complete name of the new Governor is Lolo Letalu Matalasi Moliga, which makes it all the more interesting and seemingly prophetic in connection with the name of the venue - again, in an ironic and phonetic sense. At the same time, I suspect that “Letalu” in the Governor’s name was the reason for the reporter transcribing it the way it is, and not necessarily a misinterpretation of the real name of the malae, or it could be that he/she may have seen my blog title prior and therefore took it to be the same as that of the AS malae.

Anyway, my comment was submitted and printed - but was later removed. I do not know for what reason. For those who read my blog and also frequent the online Samoa Observer, the association may have been immediate when reading the title of the article.  Some, especially those who haven’t read my malae post (where the distinction is made), may have thought that I borrowed - literally and verbatim - the title/name of my blog. The truth is that the American Samoa malae may have been an added inspiration for my title, but not as a direct result of it.  Ia fai aku ai fo’i ...

ae ia maguia le kausaga fou
le 'au makukua ma le 'au kalavou
maka fiafia ae aua le faagogou
ia sau fo’i le fuaka ma loga lou
ma ia folau oukou sa i le malu ae le o le sousou
maguia oukou i le alofa o le Loukou!
ae ola le kamaloa mai Fulu’asou

UPDATE:  The Samoa Observer has removed my comment from the comment section (end of article) and moved it to Letters to the Editor section (here). Thank you to the staff!

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