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 2023 takes place from Sunday 7 May to Saturday 13 May. The theme for Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta – Rotuman Language Week 2023 is Vetḁkia ‘os Fäega ma Ag fak hanua – Sustaining our Language and Culture. The Rotuman language is listed in the UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger of Disappearing.
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.”
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. Language, culture and identity are intricately intertwined. 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.