Samoa is no stranger to colonisation. In 1830 Christian missionaries destroyed the Samoan religion; Germany ruled Western Samoa from 1899 until 1914; and after that the country passed over to New Zealand’s rule. It was not until 1962 that Western Samoa gained autonomy again, changing its name to Samoa, formally, in 1997.
However, despite independence, Western culture has maintained a strong presence in island life. The latest dilemma for Samoa, thrown up by the economic forces of globalisation, is how to deal with Chinese interest in Oceania’s potential for tourism.