Noaˈia ˈe mạuri gagaj ˈatakoa, greetings to everyone! Noaˈia ˈe mạuri is “an expression of gratitude for the wellbeing of the person receiving the greeting. It translates as ‘thank you for being alive.’ In greeting others in this manner, you thank them for the care they have taken in ensuring their own wellbeing and health.” (The Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ Fäeag Rotuman Educational Resource, p.17).
Rotuman (Fäeag Rotųam) Language Week 2022 takes place from Sunday 8 May to Saturday 14 May. Sustainability is the overarching theme this year.
Rotuma is a Polynesian volcanic island located about 500 kilometres north of Fiji. An ancient transit point for Pacific voyaging, it occupies a central Pacific location. About 2000 people live on the island, with 10,000 on mainland Fiji and thousands more worldwide. The New Zealand Rotuman population is concentrated in Auckland and is a youthful population. Rotuman people are a separate ethnic group with their own distinct language, culture and identity. Rotuman culture also has similarities with its Pacific neighbours, encouraging gathering together, relationships, and sharing through spoken word.
Language, culture and identity are intricately intertwined. The Rotuman language is on the UNESCO List of Endangered Languages. The Ministry of Education’s Te Kete Ipurangi explains that Rotuman language week is an opportunity to “Raise the mana of speakers of Fäeag Rotųam, boost the advantages of bilingualism, and support inclusion.”
Show solidarity with Rotuman language revitalisation
- Visit Te Kete Ipurangi, the MMP website, the Auckland Rotuman Fellowship website and the Official NZ Rotuman Facebook page for a list of events open to the public.
- Check out resources from the Library
- Visit Sylvia Ashton-Warner Library’s (Epsom) upcoming Rotuman Language Week book display (located in the Pasifika collection)
Amber French, Judy McFall-McCaffery and the Pacific Language Weeks Kainga