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Source: New Zealand Government

The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the theme for the 2020 Fijian Language Week reflects the strong belief by Fijians that their language and culture inspires courage and strength that is strongly needed in times of emergencies, or through a significant challenge like the global COVID-19 pandemic that we are currently experiencing.

“The theme for this year’s Fijian Language Week is ‘Noqu Vosa, Noqu iSema Bula’ which means ‘My language, my living link’ is also a theme that highlights the resiliency of the Fijian community,” says Aupito William Sio.

“COVID-19 has challenged all New Zealanders, and our ability to communicate with Pacific peoples of Aotearoa in their own languages has been critical in providing confidence and certainty to our communities, as we fight to stop the spread of the virus and keep everyone safe.

“We’ve showed Pacific peoples the respect we hold for them and their cultures by delivering innovative, tailored messages in nine Pacific languages across all media platforms to support them to be informed, resilient and united against COVID-19.

“Helping Pacific communities embrace digital platforms and new technologies as the new tools for connecting and engaging with families and friends has enabled all of us to continue to practice our languages and cultures despite COVID-19 preventing us from celebrating face-to-face.

“I encourage all our Pacific youth to utilise these digital tools during the Fijian Language Week so they can generate innovation that will accelerate the revitalisation, growth, and strength of our Pacific languages.

“The Ministry for Pacific Peoples is currently administrating Pacific language funds to support providers and groups deliver Pacific language community projects aimed at the growth and retention of Pacific languages.

“One of Aotearoa New Zealand’s greatest treasures is its diversity of languages and cultures. Our collective effort to nurture our Pacific languages not only boosts the confidence and wellbeing of our Pacific peoples but enriches our nation’s cultural capital.

In addition to the Fijian Language Week programme, Fiji will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its independence on Saturday, 10 October. 

“Fiji’s 50th anniversary is a significant celebration and a good way also to mark the 8th year since the Fijian Language Week became part of the Pacific Language Weeks programme of Aotearoa. Bula vinaka and congratulations to everyone involved in these celebrations,” says Aupito William Sio

The Fijian Language Week programme will be officially launched on Saturday 3 October at 1pm, hosted by the Whanganui Fijian Community on the official Fijian Language Week Facebook Page. The Language Week will run from Sunday 4 October to Saturday 10 October 2020.

For further information and other helpful resources on Fijian Language Week can be found on the Ministry for Pacific Peoples website here.