Tag Archives: Samoan Language Week

Vaiaso o le gagana Samoa – Samoan Language Week 2019

What does my language mean to me?

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

Samoan Language Week – ‘kindness given, kindness gained’

“O la’u gagana o lo’u fa’asinomaga, o la’u gagana o lo’u mitamitaga, o la’u gagana o lo’u maluapapa”
“My language is my identity, my language is my pride, and my language is my shelter”

My language defines me and my ancestors. They sacrificed for my freedom, to speak freely and when appropriate. My language is a part of my identity that I take pride in.

I see it as my comfort zone because I feel confident when I speak my language as opposed to English. I don’t have to worry about “fobbing out” in front of people. This is what my language means to me as a Tama’ita’i Samoa (a woman of Samoa).

Words, when spoken in Samoan, lend very deep meaning. They say that words hurt more than anything else, and I tell you Samoan words hurt me a million times more than English words could. However, Samoan words are also the most soothing to me, for example when you hear an elder (or anyone in particular) speak our mother tongue. The words are spoken with so much grace and knowledge, you can feel the joy they bring. This is a constant reminder that our talatu’u – history was passed down from generation to generation through (mostly) stories.

This week is not only about celebrating our language, it’s also a celebration of our culture. The theme this year is – “Kindness given, Kindness gained” for Samoan Language Week (27 Mē – 2 Juni 2018). Kindness also known in Samoan as ‘Agalelei’ is one of the core foundations of Fa’a Samoa (Samoan culture and traditions). Everything you do within our culture, you should do it with kindness and with no expectation of anything in return.

This week is also a week of remembrance as Samoa celebrates its fifty-sixth year of Independence. We remember our people who fought hard for the freedom that we get to enjoy today.

‘If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language that goes to his heart.’ Nelson Mandela

Ia manuia le vaiaso ole Gagana Samoa.

Seen ‘Tautua’ on hoardings? Here’s what it means!

If you’re based at Dovedale campus or visit regularly, you’ve probably noticed the brightly coloured hoardings around the old gym. These hoardings have been decorated with various words and phrases relevant to UC – including ‘Tautua.’

‘Tautua’ means service and responsibility. It comes from the Samoan phrase “O le ala i le pule, o le tautua” which translates to “The pathway to authority is through service.”

The phrase, also featured in UC’s Pasifika Strategy, is a well known Samoan proverb meaning by serving others; we can create a meaningful path to success. It can also be translated as “The pathway to leadership is through service.”

Service to others, particularly family and community, is highly valued in Pasifika culture. It’s a value which is also applicable when it comes to education. Education allows one to give back to the community, and rise to positions of leadership and responsibility.

Below: Ashalyna Noa and Bernard Mackenzie from the Pacific Development Team check out the brightly coloured hoardings.

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