Blog #7: Cultures in Alaska 2 comments

Alaska has been a melting pot for many cultures for a long time. The military and jobs on the North Slope bring a variety of people to Alaska. Some choose to stay, making Alaska their home. As people come to Alaska they bring with them their traditions and values.  Restaurant featuring different cultural foods appear and a variety of traditions are shared.

Many Pacific Islanders have made Alaska home. Samoan, Tongan and Hawaiian people have chosen to raise families in Alaska. I attend church with many Samoan families and they are willing to share their culture with us. They greet us using their traditional island greeting, “Talofa!” They share their food and dance with us through luaus and talent shows. Their culture has a strong family component. I enjoy getting to mingle with the Pacific Islanders because they accept everyone as a part of their family. They look out for each other and watch out for children.

I have seen service and friendship as major parts of their culture. Many of the Samoan families I know have chosen to be foster parents. They accept children into their homes for short or long periods of time. The foster children are treated the same as their own children. In one family I know, fostering has led to the adoption of an 8-year-old boy. He now has a permanent family and is proud of his new culture and life. It is wonderful when cultures can blend and people can share their differences and learn from each other.




The Samoan culture is very big on families. Extended families are included in family activities. They are very welcoming to others. (

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2 thoughts on “Blog #7: Cultures in Alaska

  • pmullin1

    As I read this week’s text, I couldn’t help think of the hardships that were endured by man and animals living here. The winters are cold and hard. Survival can be difficult. That’s true even today. We have it made most of the time compared to those early days, but things can change so quick here. Electricity goes off for any length of time and we are reminded real quick how cold it in can get. We have a wood burning stone and a gas oven so we can still go on, plus a generator but not everyone does.
    The Changing Times told of what Native Alaskans faced as others started coming and how other laws changed their lives- and certainly not always for good. Traditions were broken down as times changed. Ice Palace by Edna Ferber tells of a way of life that has truth in it and yet is probably embellished somewhat. Grizzly Habitat by Frank Deresne was interesting. I have heard similar stories from those that are guides. I’d prefer to read about bear stories then live them. I prefer my bear encounters to be far a very safe distance away.
    As I read the Field of the Caribou, by John Haines,I thought of seeing a small herd of caribou bedded down on the golf course in Soldotna as the snow and wind was picking up on Friday as a storm front was moving in. I am still awed when I see a sight like that.