Pacific Media Centre Newsdesk
The Auckland Rotuman Fellowship Group has celebrated relaxed covid lockdown restrictions by reviving their language and culture classes at the weekend.
Transport Minister Phil Twyford and local Papatoetoe-Otara board chair Lotu Fuli of the Auckland Council praised the Rotuman community’s efforts to save their endangered Pacific language.
Twyford took part in the classes on Saturday and learnt a few Rotuman words.
“It’s so heartening to see the Rotuman elders passing on their language and culture to the youth,” he said.
“Auckland is the world’s largest Pasifika city, and we must all continue to work together to celebrate our diversity.”
Fuli said: “Today I am inspired to continue encouraging my children to speak our Samoan language at home.”
Rotuman group general secretary Rachael Mario said: “Language helps define us, and is part of our culture and identity. We are committed for the sake of our younger ones.”
The group, which had been holding classes for several years, was forced to suspend the get-togethers earlier this year due to covid-19 restrictions.
Classes are held every Saturday afternoon at the NZ Rotuman Community Centre at 35 East Tamaki Rd, Papatoetoe, Auckland.
The centre is part of the Whanau Community Collective.