Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta: Rotuman Language Week 2022

Noaʻia ʻe mḁuri gagaj ʻatakoa! Welcome to Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta | Rotuman Language Week 2022.

Poster courtesy of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples.

What is Rotuman Language Week?

New Zealand is the only country in the world where the languages and culture of our Pasifika cousins are celebrated. Fäeag Rotuạm, the Rotuman language, is the first of nine Pasifika language weeks this year, and it runs from the 8th May – 14th May 2022. Rotuma Day itself was on the 6th of May.

Where is Rotuma you ask? The main island of Rotuma is about 13km by 4km and is about 580km from Fiji’s capital, Suva. Rotuma is a dependency of Fiji, so Rotumans will usually speak Fijian and English too! There are about 2000 Rotumans living on the island, and 10,000 living in mainland Fiji and globally.

More information about Rotuma Day and the history of Routma can be heard in this article from Radio NZ.

This year’s theme for Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta is:

Vetḁkia ‘os Fäega ma Ag fak hanua – Sustaining our Language and Culture.

In these times, when it sometimes feels like things are just moving too fast, we think this is a wonderful idea to reflect on.

So how do you speak Rotuman?

Well, Rotumans roll their ‘R’s and pronounce ‘G’ with a smooth ‘ing’ sound, similar to how ‘ng’ is pronounced in te reo Māori.

Here are some key phrases in Rotuman [Row-too-man]:
Noa’ia [Noah-e-yah]= Hello, greetings.
Ka ‘äe tapen? [Car eh tar-pen] = How are you?
Gou lelei fḁiåksia [Ngou leh-lay for-yak-see-yah] = I am well thank you.
Figalelei [Fee-nga-leh-lay] = Please
Fḁiåksia [Foyak-see-yah] = Thank you
Hanis ma röt’åk [Hah-niece mah röt-ack] = Sorry
La’ ma ḁlalum [Lah mah aw-lah-loom] = Goodbye (only to those leaving)
Fu’ ma ḁlalum [Foo mah aw-lah-loom] = Goodbye (only to those staying)

Find more words and phrases in this language guide produced by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples.

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples provides great resources and information about our Pasifika languages and cultural events. Visit the official NZ Rotuman Language Week Facebook page, and the official website, for more information about Rotuman Language Week 2022!

Celebrate Nowruz 2022 at the Library!

Nowruz Mobarak!  aidé shomā mobārak!

!عيد نو روز مبارک Bayramiz Mubarah! nowruzetoon peerooz!  !نوروز پيروز

Happy Nowruz! May your new year be victorious!

What is Nowruz?

Nowruz (also known as Nauryz, Navruz, or Nowrouz) is the Persian New Year, but you don’t have to be Persian to celebrate it! This year, Nowruz is taking place in New Zealand on Monday 21 March. More than 300 million people worldwide celebrate Nowruz, and have celebrated it for more than 3,000 years, from the Balkans to the Black Sea Basin, to the Middle East and elsewhere.

Nowruz means “new day” in Farsi (the language predominantly spoken in Iran), and it occurs on the first day of Spring. While it’s a secular holiday for most people, it remains a holy day for Zoroastrians, Baháʼís, and some Muslims. The main countries that celebrate Nowruz are Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, India, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Nowruz “promotes the values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families,” the United Nations says. It’s a time of reconciliation and neighbourliness, “contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples and different communities.” We think this is something that we definitely need more of all over the world. Wellington City Libraries would like to wish you all “Nowruzetoon Peerooz — نوروز پيروز — May your new year be victorious!

From the Catalogue!

To help you and your family find out more about Nowruz, or about the people and cultures who celebrate it, we have put together this list of books to get you started:

Seven special somethings : a Nowruz story / Khorram, Adib
“Kian can’t wait for Persian New Year! His family has already made a haft-seen, and Kian’s baba and maman told him that all the things on it start with S and will bring them joy in the new year. Kian wonders if he could add just one more S, to make his family even happier. […] Can Kian find seven special somethings to make a new haft seen before his family arrives for their Nowruz celebration?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The big book of festivals / Bullock, Marita
“From tomato-throwing parties to graveside picnics, fire-walking ceremonies, crying baby competitions and the biggest bathing festival on Earth – this book introduces you to some of the world’s most incredible cultural and religious celebrations. Some festivals are outrageously fun and joyful, others are more serious. All of them bring people together to mark big events in life.So join us in this riotous explosion of colour as we feast, sing, cry and celebrate the diversity of festivals and traditions this wonderful world of ours has to offer!” (Catalogue)

Mā dārīm mīrīam shikār-i khirs = We’re going on a bear hunt / Rosen, Michael
Read this classic children’s tale, here told in Persian, the national language of Iran! You can find more children’s books in Persian on our catalogue here!

A treasury of Turkish folktales for children / Walker, Barbara K
“Thirty-four Turkish folk tales about jinns and giants, padishahs and peasants, and beloved heroes such as Keloglan the bald boy.” (Catalogue)

My Grandma and me / Javaherbin, Mina
“In a true tale of a young girl in Iran and her grandmother, this beautiful ode to family celebrates small moments of love that become lifelong memories.” (Catalogue)

Pea boy and other stories from Iran / Laird, Elizabeth
“A wonderful collection of traditional stories from Iran retold by an award-winning author who knows the country intimately.” (Catalogue)

Arabic Language Day and New Books in Arabic!

ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ!

The 18th of December marks the United Nations Arabic Language Day. Did you know that there are over 300 million native Arabic speakers worldwide?

This makes the Arabic language one of the most widely spoken languages in the word.

It is spoken by a diverse range of people across the African continent and the Middle East, including Sudan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, and many more. At Wellington City Libraries we’re lucky enough to offer our community a wide selection of books in Arabic for everyone to enjoy!

Here is our librarian, Khadro, showing us two more brand new Arabic books in the Newtown Library collection:

A smiling librarian, wearing a colourful facemask and hijab, is holding two beautiful picture books in Arabic. Behind her, you can see the children's world languages collection at Newtown Library, with lots of books in colourful shelving and comfortable seats nearby.

Our friendly librarians love helping you find good books to read!

Here are some of our favourite books for children in Arabic. Click on the title to find out more. If the book you want is in a library that is too far away, you can click ‘Place Reserve‘ to have it sent to a library which is closer, where you can pick it up.

Mā arwaʻ al-ṭaʻām = Food, food, fabulous food / Clynes, Kate
A fun story about the diversity of food and all the ways it enriches our lives. Food brings people together from all walks of life and is a great way to connect with each other.

Ikhtalafat fa-tamayyazatu / Nājim, Alāʼ Saʻd

Our Differences are Distinguished: This story is a dive into everything that makes us different and unique. Through music the characters of this book learn that there are different ways to express themselves.

Time to pray = Awqāt al-ṣalāh / Addasi, Maha

This story follows young Yasmin as she learns about one of the core tenants of her religion: prayer. It also teaches Yasmin the importance of family and community.

Samakat qaws qazah = The rainbow fish. / Pfister, Marcus

Leaning to share your beauty with others makes everyone shine. This classic tale is now available in English and Arabic for new and native Arabic speakers to enjoy.

Ayyuhā al-dub al-asmar, ayyuhā al-dub al-asmar mādhā tará? / Martin, Bill

I see a bear, what about you? A fun rhyming book that covers all the bases, from magical blue horses to cute purple cats. This book has it all.

Click here to see more Arabic children’s books at Wellington City Libraries

Joining the Library is free! You can take these books home for three weeks and then get some new ones! If you would like to learn more, here is some information about how to join the library, written in Arabic.