I mispronounced the name of my village as Papa-uta instead of Papauta and my cousins burst out laughing.
E lē mālie – what you just did was embarrass me for trying to speak the language of my forefathers and now I don’t bother trying.
You pulled on my chubby muffin top and bellowed “ua lap’oa” [you’re fat] with a giggle.
E lē mālie – what you just did was make an eight-year-old girl feel so self-conscious about her outward appearance that she shied away from the world and found comfort from food.
I asked if you were married and you smirked before nodding and answering no while hiding your wedding ring behind your back.
E lē mālie – what you just did was disrespect me, disrespected your wife, disrespected your children and disrespected yourself!
A young girl waddled down the street with her stomach protruding and you cackled like a witch before yelling “pa’umuku” [slut].
E lē mālie – What you just did was shame an innocent 14-year-old girl who was sexually abused by her uncle and is now persecuted for being a victim.
You saw the community group picking up rubbish and sorting it for recycling and you pointed your finger while your roars of laughter were drowned out by your yelling “maimau le taimi! Alu fufulu ou mata” [That’s a waste of time! Go clean your face].
E lē mālie – We are all keepers of the earth. Making personal attacks won’t change the fact that the sea level is rising, that we face increases instances of natural disasters, that freshwater is decreasing or that islands are at the mercy of nature’s wrath.
E liua le fiafia I le fa’anoanoa.
After laughter comes tears.