Bula vinaka! It’s Fijian Language Week

posted: 4:00 pm - 7th October 2017

This week will be filled with Fijian culture and tradition as the community gathered at the Auckland Memorial Museum this afternoon, 7 October to officially open celebrations for Fijian Language Week.

Ministry for Pacific 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.

“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.”

Here are a few key words and phrases to get you chatting in Na Vosa Vakaviti (Fijian).

Welcome/hello: Bula vinaka, Bula

How are you? Vacava tiko?

What's your name? O cei na yacamu?

My name is… Na yacaqu o…

Where are you from? O ni lako mai vei?

Pleased to meet you: Ia bula

Good night/goodbye: Moce, Ni sa moce

Have a nice day: Vanuinui vinaka ki na siga ni kua

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!)

According to the 2013 Census, the Fijian ethnic group in New Zealand comprised 14,445 people, with 59% of those living in Auckland. Although the Fijian population is one of the smallest Pacific population group in New Zealand, they are the fastest growing.  Between 2001/06 and 2006/13 the Fijian population group grew by 40 percent and 46.5 percent respectively. 

A list of events to mark Fiji Language Week and an educational resource are available here 

The social media hashtag is #VosaVakaViti [speak Fijian].