Living the language focus of Fijian Language Week

posted: 11:00 am - 6th October 2018
IMG 1767

(Picture caption: Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon. Aupito William Sio and Associate Minister Hon. Carmel Sepuloni are recognised by the Fijian community at the launch of Fijian Language Week 2018.) 

Living the language is the theme of the 2018 Fijian Language Week, which runs from October 7-13.

This year is the final year of the theme – Noqu Vosa Me’u Bula Taka – My language, Learn it, Speak it, Live it, with a focus on immersing yourself in the language.

Fijian Language Week 2018 was launched on October 6 at National Library in Wellington by Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon. Aupito William Sio and Associate Minister Hon. Carmel Sepuloni.

There is also a series of other events happening, including the Fiji Day Festival in Mangere and Matua Day honouring senior citizens in Manukau.

Regional events are also being held in Hamilton, Whanganui, Palmerston North, Wellington, and Christchurch throughout this week.

Minister Sio says this is the sixth Fijian Language Week held in Aotearoa and it is great to see growing interest in revitalising the language.

“To achieve this, we need communities to incorporate it into everyday life, not just during this language week, but year-round,” Minister Sio says.

The 2013 Census found nearly 30 percent of Fijians were able to hold an everyday conversation in the language.

Minister Sio says the 2018 Census results will provide an important check on the language’s health and how well the various language programmes are working.

At the time of the 2013 Census, there were 14,455 Fijians in New Zealand, with the population increasing by 46 percent between the 2006 and 2013 Census period.

“With 40 percent of Fijians now born in New Zealand, preserving the Fijian language is critical to keeping Fijian culture not just alive, but thriving.

“This was reinforced by our recent community engagements as part of the Pacific Vision refresh which identified identity, language and culture as a priority area for progress and change,” Minister Sio adds.

Revitalising the Fijian language is a journey, he says.

“It won’t happen overnight and requires persistence and commitment.

“This Fijian proverb sums it up – ‘Katakata va kuro kava’.”

Visit MPP for a calendar of events happening around the country and resources to use throughout the week.