Pacific Voices: Fijian language week celebrations honour the past

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Fijian language week celebrations over the weekend addressed the revival of the language for future generations in New Zealand. But the past was not forgotten. The community acknowledged their ancestors and the precious gifts they have left for the community today.   TJ Aumua reports.

It was a weekend filled with Fijian culture and tradition as the community gathered at the Auckland Museum this week to open celebrations for Fijian language week.

On Saturday morning Fijian leaders from all around the country came together for the first time to address issues that are affecting the community living in New Zealand.

With the community’s population growing fast in Auckland, the leaders were concerned that approximately seven percent of New Zealand-born Fijians cannot speak the language.

The President of the Fiji Community Association of Auckland (FCAA), Naca Yalimaiwai, said it is important for Fijian youth to grow-up surrounded by their language so they can identify with their culture and who they are.

“It’s important to maintain that reputation of who we are when we come away from Fiji,” he said.

In the afternoon, the community turned out in big numbers for the launch of the Fijian collection at the museum.

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‘Fijian treasures’

The collection of ancient Fijian artefacts was officially named: ‘Nai Yau Vakaviti: Na Ka Marequiti’ which translates into: ‘Our Fijian Treasures: That are treasured’.

The community said a special blessing for the items, acknowledging the culture, tradition and skill of their ancestors.

The exhibition is a part of the Pacific Collection Access Project at the Auckland Museum. It has, for the very time, allowed communities to view an extensive look into the Pacific collections they store.

The collection will continuing viewing until July 2017.

Watch the full video story here.

Fiji Language Week runs from October 3-9, 2016. This years theme is:Noqu vosa, me’u bula take, which means my language, learn it, speak it, live it!

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SOURCEPacific Media Centre
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TJ Aumua is Pacific Media Watch freedom project contributing editor for the Pacific Media Centre (2016). She is a recent graduate of Auckland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Communication Studies (Honours) degree and with a BCS majoring in journalism and a minor in screen writing. TJ is also a contributor for the PMC Online and Asia Pacific Report and has been a recent summer research intern with Pacific Journalism Review.

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