24 May 2020

"Tapena sou ōso mo lau malaga" - Prepare yourself a gift for your travels

7:43 pm on 24 May 2020

The theme of 'travel' for this year's Samoan Language Week is a perfect fit for New Zealand's Pasifika community as it continues to cope with the impacts of Covid-19, according to the Minister of Pacific Peoples.

Aupito William Sio launched Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa, (Samoan Language Week), online and with the help of the Samoan Congregational Christian Church of Christchurch.

Aupito William Sio launches Samoan Language Week 2020

Aupito William Sio launches Samoan Language Week 2020 Photo: Gagana Samoa i Aotearoa

This year's theme is - 'Tapena sou ōso mo lau malaga' - or in English, 'Prepare yourself a gift for your travels'.

The concept is to urge people to prepare for the journey ahead, highlighting the need to honour, respect and share the gifts of life's journey.

"The theme is so appropriate for our times and I believe it will help Pacific peoples of Aotearoa focus on playing a leading and vital part in the Government's plan of 'Rebuilding Together'," said Aupito.

"It reminds me that planning is the key to ensuring a successful journey, and that with proper planning where our whole community is involved, we can achieve our desired goals and outcomes, and succeed in reaching our planned destination where we can all celebrate our successes together.

"It's also about Pacific wellness...it's also about planning to keep everyone safe and strong with their emotional and spiritual wellness during the most arduous legs of our post Covid-19 journey."

The minister encouraged all New Zealanders to use some simple Samoan greetings and words this week, to take time to understand what they meant, the stories they carry, and to take time to speak with Samoans about what their language means to them.

Samoan is the third most spoken language in New Zealand and the second most spoken in Auckland.

Auckland Museum marks Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa

Meanwhile the Auckland Museum is joining in the celebrations by sharing Samoan items from its collections.

Auckland Museum's Olivia Taouma

Auckland Museum's Olivia Taouma Photo: supplied

The museum will also be lit in Samoa's colours and will share a video to teach everyone simple words and phrases in Samoan.

Teu Le Vā manager Olivia Taouma, who hails from Poutasi, Faleasiu and Sapapali'i will introduce the collections.

There will also be a read about the national bird of Samoa, Manumea.

On Monday, the museum will hold a Zoom Talanoa as part of its Ngā Kākano Series and the "recording of this talanoa will be added to the Pacific Language Week page on Tuesday morning."

The talanoa session will be on Measina Samoa: O Le Selu - "A conversation on selected Samoan combs."

Guests will include Galumalemana Steven Percival, Sister Vitolia Mo'a and Seulupe Dr Falaniko Tominiko.

Samoan language week is the second of New Zealand's nine Pacific language weeks.