Category Archives: Wellbeing

What my Tongan language means to me?

Koe ‘Otua mo Tonga Ko Hoku Tofi’a.

One of the few Tongan phrases I know but the one that speaks to me the most.

Embedded in our deep love for God and Tonga is our language. Our language tells our stories from the sea-farers that came before us, and will be the same language for future generations.

Tongan language is a way for those who are born outside of Tonga to stay connected to our roots. It is our connection to our traditions, culture, and ways of life. Simple words like faka’apa’apa and talangofua hold deep meanings and at times there are no words in the English dictionary that can be used to fully translate such words.

What does Tongan language mean to me?

When I hear the hymns being sung in church, or even a simple conversation, I feel as though I am somewhat proud to be Tongan. Before I moved to Dunedin for University, I can safely say that I was rarely exposed to the Tongan language. I went to church but I did not understand, I sung the hymns but did not understand, I would hear my mother and her relatives laughing over a cup of tea but I did not understand. This never really bothered me until I moved.

For the first time in life I found myself with a group of Tongan friends, who not only spoke in Tongan but actually knew the culture and the traditions. At this point, I learnt that our language carries our culture, traditions and ways of life. Our language is the essence of who we are. When I hear another person speaking Tongan I light up, because there is someone else who I can identify with. Language bring us together, it gives us the opportunity to celebrate our identity, and for that I will be eternally grateful.

By creating safe and comfortable spaces where our Tongan students feel free to speak their language, laugh in their language and interact with each other is important. Within the Canterbury University Tongan Students Association we aim to promote this. Being able to create these kind of spaces creates a home away from home for our Tongan students from all over New Zealand as well as the world.

UC joins Shielded Site Project to help victims of domestic abuse

UC has added the Shielded Site icon to the bottom footer section of our website where it will be visible on every UC webpage.

The project, led by the Women’s Refuge, provides a way for victims of domestic violence to ask for help. The Shielded Site provides resources, such as what to do if you are in danger, how to make a plan to get out, how to be safe online, and where to go for more support and information.  

What makes this window special is that it does not appear in the browsing history of the web browser you’re using, meaning that it can be accessed without fear that an abusive partner might discover what has been looked at.

Many victims of domestic violence live in fear of their every move being monitored, online as well in person. The Shielded Site provides a safe haven for accessing help.

Many NZ organisations have joined the project including ASB, The Warehouse, Stats NZ, Trade Me, Countdown and NZ Post.

You can learn more about the Shielded Site Project here.

 

UC Mentors recruiting now!

Sign up to be a mentor
Sign up to be a mentor

UC Mentoring provides new students with the tips and tricks of student life by those who know it best – YOU! 

If you want to share your wisdom with new students and help them settle into Uni, gain valuable experience yourself including communication skills and leadership, then we need to hear from you!  All of our mentors are supported with training seminars and workshops and become part of an awesome team of student mentors.  From Undergrad, to Post Grad, part time and distance, we are looking for mentors across all spheres.  Please note: we do not provide academic tutoring, it is based on a psycho social model of engagement.

Head to www.canterbury.ac.nz/mentoring to sign up to be a UC Mentor for 2020.  Closing date is 19 August and interviews will take place during the week of September 9.  All successful applicants are subject to VCA police checks.

If you want an informal chat or to find out more, contact Jo Carter via mentoring@canterbury.ac.nz or pop by Forestry 107.