11 May 2018

Rotuman elder urges language preservation 'at home'

2:11 pm on 11 May 2018

A Rotuman elder living in New Zealand, who fears the loss of his native language, is urging all speakers to use it more at home.

Rotuman elder and pastor, Ravai Mosese

Rotuman elder and pastor, Photo: RNZ Pacific Sara Vui-Talitu

The Rotuman community in Auckland has started its own campaign to save its unique language and culture from extinction by hosting the first Rotuman Language Week in New Zealand.

Ravai Mosese, who is a pastor, said there had been a noticeable decline in Rotuman language use among youth.

He said as learning began at home, parents and grandparents should be proactive in imparting their language and culture to other generations.

"There is no school in New Zealand to teach our children the Rotuman language and it depends on us the elders and the parents to do it at home."

Mr Mosese said his island's language and culture were treasures that needed to be taken care of, if they were to survive.

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