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Samoan nightclubs female-friendly and safe

Samoan nightclubs female-friendly and safe

Samoan parents shouldn’t fret about what their daughters are getting up to when they go out night – as long as they’re at a Samoan nightclub.

Auckland’s Samoan nightclubs may well be providing a safer environment for women than many conventional late-night venues, according to Massey University social work and psychology researchers.

The findings should be of comfort to older Samoans concerned about their offspring, and for whom the term “night club” suggests a place of danger where bad things occur.

Social work lecturer Tafa Mulitaloi, at Massey’s School of Social and Cultural Studies in Auckland and doctoral student Karin Menon, from the School of Psychology in Auckland, say that Auckland’s Samoan nightclubs in fact provide safe sanctuaries where groups of women of all ages can meet for a fun night out on the dance floor.

Their observation and interview-based research at several Samoan nightclubs located in Manukau and Waitakere cities – including Apia Way, the Leon Club, Fia Fia Club and Le Eva Eva – revealed key differences in the way Samoan women socialised compared with women at mainstream “western” nightclubs.

“On the dance floor you see groups of women dancing, chatting, smiling. It’s very friendly and welcoming. There doesn’t seem to be competition between them,” Ms Menon says.

“While European women occupy the dance floor as a stage for individual appearance, Samoan women dance in groups and interact with each other using the dance floor as a place of unification,” they report in a joint paper entitled “The Socio-Cultural Meaning of ‘Nightlife’ to Samoan Women in Auckland: Observed Variations in females’ behaviour on the dance floor across Euro-American and Polynesian Cultures.”

Samoan women were not self-conscious about their size or age when it came to enjoying dancing. Alcohol and drug abuse were not obvious problems either, probably because or religious prohibitions, they say.


The nightclubs were also places where traditional Samoan social protocols, such as feagaiga, were alive and well.

The practice of feaaiga, whereby Samoan men take care of women in a brother-sister way – ensured nightclubs were positive, safe places for women to enjoy themselves. And the likelihood of one-night-stands, often associated with going to nightclubs, was rare because of the cultural view that it is insulting and shameful to leave with someone other than the group you had arrived with.

Ends

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