Celebrate Fijian language and culture

Everyone is invited to celebrate Fijian language and culture in Aotearoa New Zealand at the Fiji Day 12 October at Mangere Centre Park, on the final day of Fijian Language Week. See two original meke created during Macawa ni Vosa Vakaviti or Fijian Language Week 2019. This is the first time original meke celebrating Fijians living in Aotearoa New Zealand will be created and staged.



Daunivucu and daunimeke, Alipate Mainasau (Ovalau; Director of Te Mana Performing Arts school) and daunivucu, Joana Monolagi (Serua; Coordinator of Fiji Village at Pasifika Festival) have created a seasea (women’s standing dance) and a meke i wau (club dance).


“Lali Ni Vanua talks about how life is changing at home in Fiji. We talk about yavu (spiritual foundation). Na domo ni lali is the call we all get from the homeland, from our families, our cultures, our traditions,” says Joana.


“It reminds us to be vigilant and remember who we are amidst the sea of change. Change is inevitable. Remember your foundation, your yavu (foundation, turangawaewae), your identity. Hold fast to it,” adds Alipate.


Pan-tribal meke performers and vakatara (singing and music circle) will be drawn from Auckland schools and communities.


Meke Aotearoa continues the Fijian tradition of inter-generational transmission of knowledge through language, traditional dance, and music. The project is timed to coincide with the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages.


And of course with Fijian Language Week, the fifth of seven Pacific language weeks this year, which started Sunday 6 October and will run through to Saturday 12 October.


The theme for this year’s Fijian Language Week is Na Noqu Vosa - Ai Takele Ni Noqui Tovo or, in English, my language anchors my culture.


“The theme reminds us how important it is that we each have something to anchor ourselves to, something that can help us pause and feel in control in a rapidly changing world,” says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.


As part of the Wellbeing Budget, the Government allocated $20 million over the next four years to ensure Aotearoa New Zealand is home to thriving Pacific languages.


“The priority here is to make sure future generations of Pacific people do not lose their identity as they grow and prosper in New Zealand society. It is to give them a cultural foundation from which they can build their future.


“Our children’s story will be different to our own, but we still share the same anchor. These roots cannot ever be removed, we can only continue to grow from them. That’s what the theme for Fijian Language Week says to me and I am delighted to be able to share it with you,” says Aupito William Sio.


Celebrate the Fijian language and culture at Fiji Day 1pm Saturday, 12 October at Māngere Centre Park, 101 Robertson Road, Māngere.