Samoan Culture

Greetings

  • Strangers are greeted with a handshake and a warm smile or by raising the eyebrows and smiling as a sign of acknowledgement.
  • Strangers or community leaders are greeted respectfully by a title.
  • If the person you are greeting has a title, such as chiefs (Matai), you would use their title regardless of the length of time you have known the person.
  • Many chiefs do not advertise their status, so it is important to enquire and call them by their appropriate title. 
  • The typical greeting among friends and family is a hug and kiss on the cheek.
  • When greeting friends and family, usually one would use their first name followed by “Talofa” (“Hello”).
Download this Cultural Profile

Too busy to read it right now?

You can download this cultural profile in an easy-to-read PDF format that can be printed out and accessed at any time.

Samoa
  • Population
    198,926
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Languages
    Samoan (official)
    English
  • Religions
    Protestant Christianity (57.4%)
    Roman Catholic Christianity (19.4%)
    Mormonism (15.2%)
    Worship Centre (1.7%)
    Other Christianity (5.5%)
    Other Religion (0.7%)
    No Religion (0.1%)
    Unspecified (0.1%)
    [2011 est.]
  • Ethnicities
    Samoan (92.6%)
    Euronesians (persons with European and Polynesian heritage) (7.0%)
    Europeans (0.4%)
    [2001 census]
  • Australians with Samoan Ancestry
    75,755 [2016 census]
Samoans in Australia
  • Population
    24,017
    [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Samoa.
  • Average Age
    44
  • Gender
    Male (49.0%)
    Female (51.0%)
  • Religion
    Roman Catholic Christianity (23.0%)
    Church of the Latter-Day Saints (13.2%)
    Christian [nfd] (11.1%)
    Uniting Church Christianity (9.6%)
    Other (43.1%)
  • Ancestry
    Samoan (68.0%)
    English (6.8%)
    German (4.3%)
    Other (14.3%)
    Not Stated (6.5%)
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Samoan (84.4%)
    English (13.2%)
    Tokelauan (0.1%)
    Other (0.7%)
    Not Stated (1.6%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 85.7% speak English fluently.
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (41.3%)
    Queensland (33.9%)
    Victoria (21.1%)
    Western Australia (1.9%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (58.8%)
    2001-2006 (17.7%)
    2007-2011 (17.4%)
Country https://dtbhzdanf36fd.cloudfront.net/countries/232/ws.svg Flag Country Samoa