Samoa Language Week

‘I pray in Samoan now’ - how Samoans in New Zealand are keeping their culture alive

This year’s theme is Fa’aauau le Folauga i le Va’a o Tautai, which means "Continue the Voyage with Competent Wayfinders of the Ocean".

"This reflects the journey of the language, revitalisation and maintenance", says Aupito William Sio, "as well as recognising the importance of having the right tools, good leadership skills, relationship and the correct medium". ​

Aupito says sustaining Pacific languages is even more important as populations spread overseas. 

Samoan language week recognised internationally

The Samoan language week or the Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa is a celebration of Aotearoa's third most spoken language which should and must keep everyone encouraged and inspired to learn more about the Samoan community.

Samoans in New Zealand performed different Samoan activities such as singing and dancing in the Samoan language and movements and more.

But it has not been limited to the New Zealand communities.

Even Samoans residing in other countries had been proudly posting messages in the Samoan language on social media and other platforms such as TikTok App.

100 year old Tusi Fa'alupega released for Samoa Language Week

Deputy Chair of Auckland Museum’s Pacific Advisory Group Dr Seulupe Falaniko Tomoniko says: "A Fa'alupega acknowledges the Matai titles from your villages... it's basically a collection of the salutations​from each village so people know who are the important Matai and important Taupou from various villages.​

"Modern Fa'alupega books not only have the highest of Matai titles representing each village, but they also have their malae, and the names of their sa'o tama'ita'i, and the names of the kava ipu for each Matai."

Gagana Samoa is a foundation of Pacific wellbeing

“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. 

“Samoa Language Week is the second in a year of transition for the language week series, which among other things, sees all language weeks have their own take on a central theme. The theme for 2021 is ‘wellbeing’.   

"Mamas" offer free donuts for orders made in Samoan

Three new Samoan style doughnuts are being released by "Mamas" in celebration of Samoan Language Week this week, but that's not the only surprise they offering for their customers.

“We have a new promotion that if they manage at least part of their order in Samoan, they will get a free glazed doughnut,” says franchise owner Raella Kahuroa (Ngāti Kahungunu).

Being a relatively new branch, Kahuroa says they are always thinking of different ways to help establish themselves in the community and work with other Pasifika groups, especially after lockdown.