The enduring strength and sustainability of Vosa Vakaviti is being celebrated by the Fijian community in Aotearoa New Zealand during Macawa ni Vosa Vakaviti – Fijian Language Week – this week.
“This year’s theme, ‘Me vakabulabulataki, vakamareqeti, ka vakaqaqacotaki na vosa Vakaviti’, which translates as ‘Nurture, Preserve and Sustain the Fijian language’, is particularly relevant as Fiji and the wider Pacific region navigate their recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and the ever-increasing impacts of climate change,” said Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio.
“The Fiji language, culture and identity is more important now in Aotearoa – as well as at home in Fiji – than ever before.
“As it faces a road to recovery, the Fijian people can always rely on their language, traditions and values to sustain them.”
This year’s theme is linked to the 2022 Pacific Language Weeks overarching topic of sustainability and the launch of the UNESCO Decade of Indigenous languages; as well as the Government’s Pacific Languages Strategy which was launched last month.
Minister Sio said the Fijian community in Aotearoa New Zealand should be applauded for their tireless efforts in advocating for and strengthening Vosa Vakaviti.
“Fijians in New Zealand see it as their role to be united in nurturing their language as it can strengthen pathways and resources for learning Vosa Vakaviti, and creating environments where Vosa Vakaviti is used more often, and in more spaces,” he said.
“Despite the many influences Fiji has had over past centuries, including from Tonga, Britain, and India, Vosa Vakaviti and the iTaukei Fijian culture has remained steadfast.
“It is up to us, to sustain these pathways which helps generations of people to shape their identity.
“We can make this happen by using Vosa Vakaviti in our everyday circumstances and Fijian Language Week is the perfect place to start. I encourage everyone to take part in this week’s online and in-person events, such as getting in behind the Fijiana Team who will make their Rugby World Cup debut on Saturday. Vinaka vaka levu,” the Minister said.
Fijian Language Week runs from October 2-8.
Fiji Independence Day (October 10) will also be acknowledged by the Fijian diaspora in New Zealand during Fijian Language Week.
Visit the MPP website for more information and resources.