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The availability of migrant remittances has transformed the design and materials used in private homes and public buildings.Houses typically have large single rectangular spaces around which some furniture is spread and family portraits, certificates, and religious pictures are hung.
Samoans celebrate the peaceful attainment of constitutional independence in 1962 on 1 June.
The national anthem and a religious anthem, Lota Nu'u ua ou Fanau ai ("My Village in Which I Was Born") are sung to celebrate national identity.
The capital and port developed around Apia Bay from an aggregation of thirteen villages. The population is estimated at 172,000 for the year 2000, 94 percent of which is is ethnically Samoan.
A small number of people of mixed descent are descendants of Samoans and European, Chinese, Melanesians, and other Polynesians who settled in the country in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Samoan belongs to a group of Austronesian languages spoken throughout Polynesia.
A political movement, O le Mau a Pule , promoted independence in the first half of the twentieth century, calling for Samoa for Samoans ( Samoa mo Samoa ) and engaging in confrontations with colonial powers over the right to self-government.
For some, the struggles of the Mau, in particular the martyrdom of a national chief in a confrontation with New Zealand soldiers, are symbols of the nation's determination to reclaim sovereignty.Most villages lie on flat land beside the sea and are connected by a coastal road.Clusters of sleeping houses, their associated cooking houses, and structures for ablutions are arranged around a central common ( malae ).The sea and the coconut palm, both major food sources, also are shown on the emblem.An orator's staff and sinnet fly whisk and a multilegged wooden bowl in which the beverage kava is prepared for chiefs are symbolic of the authority of tradition.That process produced a unique constitution that embodied elements of Samoan and British political traditions and led to a peaceful transition to independence on 1 January 1962. The national and political cultures that characterize the nation are unambiguously Samoan.This is in large part a consequence of a constitutional provision that limited both suffrage and political representation to those who held chiefly titles and are widely regarded as protectors of culture and tradition.It has a chiefly or polite variant used in elite communication and a colloquial form used in daily communication.Samoan is the language of instruction in elementary schools and is used alongside English in secondary and tertiary education, government, commerce, religion, and the broadcast media.These attempts provoked varying degrees of anger between 19, when a small New Zealand expeditionary force, acting on British orders, ended the German administration.After World War I, New Zealand administered Western Samoa under a League of Nations mandate.