Press Release – Samoan Language Week
As New Zealanders prepare for Samoan Language Week 2014 Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy hopes Wellingtonians will have a go and take part.
“It’s fitting that a school that has been teaching Samoan students for more than 60-years will be hosting one of Wellington’s key Samoan Language Week events,” said Dame Susan.
“Samoan boys have been boarding at St Patrick’s College Silverstream since the very first scholarships were launched soon after World War Two: the current Head of State His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese is a former Stream boarder.”
Dame Susan will be giving the opening address at the secondary schools celebration yo be held at the college on Monday.
“This year’s theme ‘Taofi mau i au measina’ means hold fast to your treasures. It’s a beautiful way of remembering that we have entire generations of Samoan New Zealanders who are doing just that, holding fast to their cultural treasures. I hope all Kiwis have a go at Samoan this week.”
Samoan Language Week is from 25-31 May with events taking place across the country.
“Wellington is in for a treat with Le Moana and Jandals Inc’s Measina Festival showcasing dance and theatre while Victoria University has debates and cultural celebrations. There’s a huge range of events to choose from,” said Dame Susan.
Samoan people make up nearly half of New Zealand’s Pasifika population and Samoan is the third most commonly spoken language in New Zealand. The Human Rights Commission and FAGASA (the Association for the Teaching of Samoa in Aotearoa) has led the promotion of Samoan language week and associated activities. The Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs is working with government agencies to encourage the celebration of Samoan language and distribute information across the public sector.