Guest blog brought to you this week thanks to Sefa Faletanoai (Workforce Development Representative at Ara).
What does Samoan language mean to me? – First and foremost it’s a stark reminder to me that I need to use my language more in conversation with family and friends.
I’m one of those Samoans who understands Samoan fluently and I have the capacity to speak it, but my mind always does that thing where it second guesses itself and drops my confidence around other fluent Samoan speakers.
It’s really weird, my parents always spoke to me in Samoan but they never made it compulsory for me to do the same. It was only when I went to high school and interacted with my Samoan peers that I realised that I was behind on speaking my mother tongue.
Fast forward to now and I have definitely been using my Samoan more in work, life and in sport. However, Samoan Language Week always highlights my need to continue to use the language. It also delves a bit further during this special week as although the language is a focus, my Samoan culture gets a full celebration with food, dance, music, film and traditions.
So not only is it great for non-Pacific Islanders to learn our way and our background but certainly for Pacific Islanders to celebrate their corner of the Pacific and their very own claim to uniqueness.
Here are some Samoan language links:
Ministry for Pacific Peoples: https://www.mpp.govt.nz/
Samoan Language Week 2020 list of national events:
Gagana Samoa i Aotearoa Facebook page: