Friday, July 19, 2024

Cook Islands Language Week 2022

It’s Cook Islands Language week and the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio wants the community to focus on what it means to keep the language alive across the generations.

“Our Cook Islands community in Aotearoa have decided to focus on the same theme as last years; ‘ Ātuitui’ia au ki te Oneone o tōku ‘Ui Tupuna,’ or in English, ‘Connect me to the soils of my ancestors”. 

“Focusing on this theme for a second year allows us to “iriiri manako” or think hard on it, and deeply examine what this means in terms of the retention of Te Reo Māori Kūki ‘Airani language and Pe’u Māori culture,” said Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio

“In some ways, it serves as both as a warning; elders with the institutional and historical, and deep understanding of the language and culture are passing away, and that knowledge is being lost.

“At the same time, it provides an opportunity to capture their stories for perpetuity so future generations can benefit and celebrate this indigenous knowledge,” he said.

Classified as vulnerable by UNESCO, only 9% of the Cook Islands people speak the language.

With this in mind, and alongside this year’s launch, an online hub will be launched for young people to engage, interact, promote, share and kōrero about their culture.

Koanga Māpū Youth Digital Hub is a platform for young people to engage and capture the stories of their elders with language and cultural knowledge, which ties in with the ‘Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani theme.

“This the fourth Language Week is a way to raise awareness and contribute to the value of Te Reo Māori Kūki ‘Airani.

The Cook Islands Language Week concludes with the Kapa Nui’ Festival at Vodafone Centre in Manukau, hosted by Te Maeva Nui Trust and bringing us together to celebrate, Pe’u Māori culture) Te Reo Māori Kūki Airani (language), and everything unique to the Cook Islands,” Minister Sio said.

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