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Celebrate Samoa Language Week in Porirua

Talofa lava. This Monday (27 May) we begin the first of 2019’s Pacific Language Weeks – Samoa Language Week.

Vanessa Masoe, Porirua City Council’s Senior Advisor Partnerships – Pacific, says we’re starting the week’s celebrations with a flag raising ceremony at the Peace Memorial at Te Rauparaha Park on Monday 27 May at 8am.

“Please join us for the raising of the Samoan national flag, and together we’ll sing the Samoan national anthem. Afifio ma talaaao mai – all are welcome.”

“After English, Samoan is Porirua’s second most used language, spoken by one in 10 people in our city and it’ll be great to celebrate that throughout the week.”

The week of cultural events and activities will also feature the Walking Samoans, a walking group who hit the streets with the aim of tackling the shorter life expectancies, obesity and diabetes that plague the Samoan community.

The group will be holding a special walk around Aotea Lagoon at 8am on Saturday 1 June.

“We’re working with the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) and the community to make the language weeks happen here in our diverse city.

Porirua City Council will also be running some internal activities during the week, making MPP’s Pacific language resource available for all staff, and including the resource as part of the welcome packs as new staff join.

Kawika Aipa, Manager Public Outreach and Education says there’ll be activities for tamaiti, tagata and aiga (children, people and families) at Pātaka and our Central Library during Samoan Language Week.

“As always, Pātaka invites families to experience our world-class exhibitions which help celebrate the rich and vibrant Samoan and Pasifika culture and city we have in Porirua.

“This season we are proud to present From the Shore, an exhibition inspired by the works of iconic filmmakers Merata Mita and Barry Barclay featuring Samoan artists, Linda T. and Tanu Gago.

“A unique photographic exhibition in honour of diverse Cannons Creek orchestra Virtuoso Strings, O Matou Malaga, which translates as “our voyage” in Samoan, also has its last week in the Bottle Creek gallery during Samoa Language Week.”

The orchestra will also be helping to round off the week of events and close their exhibition with a special performance in the Spine at Pātaka between 5pm – 6pm on Saturday 1 June.

Virtuoso Strings Director Liz Sneyd said the orchestra would be performing their own rendition of the Samoan National Anthem, as well as a host of other well-known songs.

The activities for tamaiti at Pātaka and the Central Library include a colouring in competition, and a book display at the library.

“We’re also hosting a tatau evening and panel discussion on Wednesday evening at Pātaka at 6pm,” with author Sean Mallon, Aipa said.

Non-fiction writer Mallon recently won the Illustrated Non-Fiction Award at the recent New Zealand Book Awards for his book, Tatau: A History of Samoan Tattooing.

Mallon will talk through his book, which charts the art form, from 3000 years ago right up to the present day.

Keep an eye on our Porirua City Council and Pātaka Facebook pages for information and details as the week unfolds.

The Pacific language week dates are:

Samoa: 26 May – 1 June

Cook Islands: 4–10 August

Tonga: 1–7 September

Tuvalu: 29 September – 5 October

Fijian: 6–12 October

Niue: 13–19 October

Tokelau: 27 October – 2 November

Manuia le vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa – happy Samoa Language Week.


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