Vosa Vaka Viti - Speak Fijian
7acific People’s Chief Executive Officer Laulu Mac Leauanae is encouraging all New Zealanders to embrace Fijian Language Week by attending events, using Fijian greetings, and promoting the language in schools, workplaces and community groups.
Fijian Language Week runs from Sunday 8th October until Saturday 14th October and the 2017 theme is ‘Noqu vosa, me’u bula taka’ (My language, learn it, speak it, live it!)
“This is the 5th Pacific language week we are celebrating this year – we support 7 language weeks altogether. Each one holds significant importance to our Pacific communities, each one reflecting our Pacific identities and the complexities that identify each community’s uniqueness,” says Laulu.
“The Fijian language is a core component of the Fijian culture, connecting their communities around the world and exposing their culture, language and identity to non-Pacific people. We want everyone to give it a go – whether by attending a local Fijian event, which are happening across the country, or saying ‘Bula’ [hello] to address an audience.”
“Preserving and promoting languages must be integral to Pacific communities and we will do everything in our power to support this,” says Laulu.
The Ministry represents the diverse views of the different Pacific cultural communities. It aims to be a credible, trustworthy and respectful voice, to bring positive benefits in achieving better outcomes for all Pacific peoples in Aotearoa.
According to the 2013 Census, the Fijian ethnic group in New Zealand comprised 14,445 people, with 59% of those living in Auckland. The number of Fijians in New Zealand has grown substantially, from just over 40 percent of the Pacific island population in 2001/06 to over 4.9 percent from 2006/13.
A list of events to mark Fiji Language Week and an educational resource are available on the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ website: mpp.govt.nz. The social media hashtag is #VosaVakaViti [speak Fijian].
The 2017 line-up of seven Pacific Language Weeks started with Samoan Language Week back in May and ends with Tokelauan Language Week in late October.
The Ministry has teamed up with the Auckland Museum to launch Fijian Language Week on Saturday 7th October.
For further information please contact Communications, Media and Marketing on 022 043 0701.