Tuvalu Language Week has kicked off, launched by the Pacific Peoples Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, and will run through to the end of the week on October 1st to coincide with 38th Tuvalu Independence Day celebrations.
“The Tuvaluan community in New Zealand is thriving. Although small in number they are active and resourceful, with churches, playgroups and radio shows dedicated to preserving their rich culture,” says Minister Lotu-Iiga.
“This year’s theme is Ulu kite fatu e malu ei koe, which focuses on the mui (rock) as the spiritual source of family, language, culture and identity.”
There are 3,537 Tuvaluan people living in New Zealand (Census, 2013). Of these, 72% live in Auckland, 12.5% in Wellington and the rest primarily in Otago.
According to the 2013 Census, more than 60 percent of the community can speak Tuvaluan. The Minister for Pacific Peoples says there is an encouragement for more people to use the language.
“This year the Ministry for Pacific Peoples has worked with Te Papa Tongarewa and Tuvaluan communities to develop a free educational resource to help with learning more about the small Pacific nation’s language, culture and identity.
It is a good starting point for those interested in learning or teaching the language.”
Check out what’s going on around the country to celebrate the week here.