26 May 2014
Afio mai i le Vaiaso o le gagana Sāmoa, Welcome to Samoan Language week at CPIT.
Vaiaso o le gagana Samoa is an annual opportunity to celebrate the Samoan language and culture in New Zealand and at CPIT.
Staff from CPIT’s Centre for Maori and Pasifika Achievement Centre (CMPA) have prepared a week of exciting activities celebrating all things Pasifika, including the art, food, culture and, especially the language.
CMPA’s Selau Ifopo-Sumner says Vaiaso o le gagana Samoa is a week when Samoan people can “be proud of our culture and celebrate being Samoan.”
It was also about engaging the wider community with Samoan culture, Ifopo-Sumner says.
“We want to get out to the wider community and showcase our culture and what we’re about. We want everyone to get involved and learn a little bit of Samoan.”
This year’s theme for the week is ‘Taofi mau i au measina’ or ‘Hold fast to you treasures’.
“In the Samoan culture our family, our culture, our heritage are our treasures,” Ifopo-Sumner says.
“We’ve gone wider than just the language this year and want people to remember those treasures. We’ve invited our elders to the opening event as part of that, as they are treasures in our community.”
During the week both the Madras St Campus and the Trades Campus will host many events, including speeches, performances and food tasting.
Ifopo-Sumner and the CMPA staff will also be travelling around CPIT with a Samoan artwork and promoting key phrases in Samoan.
One highlight of the week will be Wednesday night’s Gagana Samoa, “Get Your tongue around it” – an evening of adult community education in the Samoan Language.
“It will be a foundation course for those who want to learn the basics of Samoan language and the culture,” Ifopo-Sumner says.
The Gagana Samoa evening is free and anyone can attend. Te Puna Wanaka will also be holding a ten week course in Samoan later this term.Samoan Language Week will run at CPIT from Monday May 26 until Friday May 30. For more details on the programme visit www.cpit.ac.nz.