The nation that your geography teacher called Western Samoa is now simply Samoa. Sometimes it's also referred to as independent Samoa, a particularly apt name for this Polynesian island group, where people still very much go their own way, as they have for more than three millennia.
Indeed, life in this widely scattered group of islands is deeply rooted in the ways of ancient Polynesian culture. The older residents have struggled hard to preserve the traditional Fa'a Samoa, or Samoan way, which along with beautiful beaches and colorful lagoons makes these islands well worth a visit.
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