You, with the brown skin, big eyes and thick long hair.
You are a child of the wavering seas and abundant lands.
You’re a Pacific Islander aren’t you.
Forgive me for singling you out, here let me introduce myself.
My name is western society and I just can’t help but notice how different you are from I.
And I don’t just mean your exterior surface, within you is waging wars and destined greatness. Your interior is truly one of a kind.
and let the world hear your voice, do not conform just stay true to you.
I would be lying if I were to say I am not my skin, and any physical identity of what you may see.
For I am a daughter of the pasefika seas, my skin, my features, are all intricate parts of what makes me me.
I was born within you western society, with my islander roots instilled within me. I grew up struggling to balance two sides of who I am.
and my identity.
I was forced to conform for all around me I saw white, but I am Samoan. I live and eat like a Samoan. Although, I reside in you, you’re right western society, I am brown.
Brown like the mats my ancestors wove, like the chop suey my mum should be famous for, like the ornaments and tools used for a saofai. I am brown like the rugby players who play at professional levels for your countries.
You see, I am brown living in a white world. But I’ve learned we compliment one another. Take away conformity, patriotism, pride and the fact I am a different colour and you’ll see who my people of the pacific truly are.
We are more than our brown skin, big eyes and thick long hair.
– Ronna Su’a
Ronna Su’a is a Samoan Writer, born in Christchurch NZ. A previous Editor of Hyde Magazine and Student advocate for her University, her love for words has took her on a journey across many fields. She is currently in the process of completing a BA in writing and communication and lives in Melbourne, Australia.
Photo credit: Natalia Nonumalo