Thursday, 3 June 2021

Sāmoa Language Week

Tālofa lava! It's Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa /Sāmoa Language Week.

This week is a chance to celebrate the language and culture of Sāmoa.

Sāmoan is the third most spoken language in New Zealand, after English and Māori, with well over 100, 000 speakers. The Pacific Peoples Minister, Aupito William Sio, made this beautiful comment as Sāmoan Language Week 2021 launched:

"Languages are essential to having confidence in our Pacific identities. They are the lens through which we understand ourselves and the world around us. Pacific people thrive when we hear our own stories told in our own languages."

This chimes with a Māori whakataukī that is a touch-stone for many of us at school when we are thinking about literacy:

Ko tōku reo tōko ohooho. Ko tōku māpihi mauria. (My language is my awakening. My language is the window to my soul.)

This sentiment seems particularly apt for our multi-lingual Autahi community.

We are especially fortunate in Autahi this Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa as Teuila shared her Sāmoan language and culture expertise with use. Fa'afetai tele lava, Teuila!

Things to try at home this long weekend:

  • Ask our child to share the story of Sina and the Eel with you.
  • You might also want to try this awesome resource from Te Papa. It includes simple Sāmoan words, colouring and activities.
We've also been working on some tapa cloth-inspired artwork this week, so drop by after the weekend and see how it's all coming together.

Manuia le vaiaso (have a great week!).

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