O la’u gagana Samoa, O la’u Measina lea. My language is my treasure, it helps me to understand and learn the customs and traditions in my culture, through communicating in my mother tongue. One of many significant alagaupu (proverbs) that derived from our beautiful Samoan language. Words of encouragement and blessing from our ancestors which has been passed down to our parents.
Samoan language is very important to me because it is the pearl of my existence as a Samoan girl who was born and raised in New Zealand. The dialect of our language is extremely significant to me as each word connects me to my culture. We are exposed to the uprising changes within our society and yet I try my best to carry and apply this quote to my life because the blessing from our parents shaped and equipped us through our journey. Although I am not fluent in Samoan, I treasure my language every day. Evidently, it is something that I hold dear to my heart, as our forefathers are the grassroots of our Samoan language, which ties myself back to my ancestors and the foundations that they have left for us which is my identity.
Learning from the proverb above brings a sense of pride and willingness to preserve and treasure the in-depth love that inherited in us by our ancestors. “O ou mama na” (Go well and be blessed).
Manuia le vaiaso o le gagana Samoa!
Keruby Ioane is studying toward a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English and Human Services with a minor in History.
Find out more about Samoan Language Week 2019 here.