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Fijian Language Week 2020 inspires courage and strength during COVID-19 pandemic

Fijian Language Week 2020 inspires courage and strength during COVID-19 pandemic

  • 04 Oct 2020
Fijian Language Week Poster3

The 2020 Fijian Language Week theme reflects the strong belief by the Fiji people that their language and culture inspires courage and strength - something needed when facing a significant challenge like the global COVID-19 pandemic we are currently experiencing.

The Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Aupito William Sio says this year’s Fijian Language Week theme of Noqu Vosa, Noqu iSema Bula, which means My language, my living link, also highlights the resiliency of the Fijian community. 

“COVID-19 has challenged all New Zealanders, and our ability to communicate with Pacific peoples of Aotearoa in their own languages has been critical in providing confidence and certainty to our communities, as we fight to stop the spread of the virus, and keep everyone safe,” Minister Sio says. 

“We have shown Pacific peoples the respect we hold for them and their cultures by delivering innovative, tailored messages in nine Pacific languages across all media platforms to support them to be informed, resilient and united against COVID-19. 

“Helping Pacific communities embrace digital platforms and new technologies as the new tools for connecting and engaging with families and friends has enabled all of us to continue to practice our languages and cultures despite COVID-19 preventing us from celebrating face-to-face.” 

Minister Sio says he encourages all Pacific youth to utilise these digital tools during the Fijian Language Week so they can generate innovation to accelerate the revitalisation, growth, and strength of our Pacific languages. 

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) is currently administrating Pacific language funds to support providers and groups deliver Pacific language community projects aimed at the growth and retention of Pacific languages. 

“One of Aotearoa New Zealand’s greatest treasures is its diversity of languages and cultures,” Minister Sio says. 

“Our collective effort to nurture our Pacific languages not only boosts the confidence and wellbeing of our Pacific peoples but enriches our nation’s cultural capital.” 

In addition to the Fijian Language Week programme, Fiji will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its independence on October 10.  

“Fiji’s 50th anniversary is a significant celebration and a good way also to mark the eighth year since the Fijian Language Week became part of the Pacific Language Weeks programme of Aotearoa. 

“Bula vinaka and congratulations to everyone involved in these celebrations,” Minister Sio says. 

The Fijian Language Week programme is being officially launched on October 3, hosted by the Whanganui Fijian Community on the official Fijian Language Week Facebook Page.  

Fijian Language Week will run from October 4 until 10.

Visit MPP for more information and language resources.