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Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa - Sāmoa Language Week 2024

By Ethan

Tālofa Lava! Welcome to Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa, Sāmoan Language Week 2024!

Image text: Gagana Samoa everyday. 26 May-1 June. Samoa Language Week.

What is Sāmoa Language Week?

Sāmoan Language Week | Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa is celebrated this year from 26th May – 1st June 2024. This is a chance for all New Zealanders to celebrate Sāmoan language, Sāmoan culture in New Zealand and around the world, and to promote the use of Sāmoan language in schools, at work and at home.

This year’s theme for Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa is:

"Tautua I le alofa, manuia e lumana’i"
which means 
"Serve in love for a blessed future"
Promotional image for Samoan Language Week 2024

Tautua i le alofa? Serve in Love?

Tautua, or service, is a key value in fa’a Sāmoa. Tautua is about all the things we do to help our community. Any group of people – a family, a team, even a country – is made up of separate people, all using their unique skills for the good of others.

A lot of kids learn to serve just by being part of a Fanau (family). Parents work hard to provide for their children, and children learn to help their parents in their own ways.

Tautua is a way of life – something to be practised everywhere you go. As you grow up and venture into the wider world, you can learn to serve other communities, like schools, churches or workplaces.

Show some alofa this vaiaso, and let’s lift ourselves up in service to everyone!

Be proud of your language in your families

Pride in Gagana Sāmoa, like any language, begins in the home. We are first taught in our homes how to speak and show respect to elders and others. We learn to show kindness to visitors, to give thanks for gifts and stories shared. Here are some easy phrases you can practise with your fanau!

A language card with everyday phrases in Sāmoan

Thanks to the Ministry for Pacific Peoples for this resource! Find others like it over on their website: Ministry for Pacific Peoples — Pacific Language Weeks (mpp.govt.nz)

Be proud of your written language 

As our world changes, Gagana Sāmoa also needs to adapt and change. Written Samoan language is becoming more valued in schools, workplaces, places of worship, and many other areas of our lives. Check out our Sāmoan books in the Library.

It’s a wonderful thing to learn how to read, understand, speak and write Gagana Sāmoa. Be proud of your written language and you can teach your friends!

All our libraries have Sāmoan books, but Ngā Puna Waiora Newtown Library has the biggest collection. If you don’t have a library card- you can sign up for free!

Gather up your friends and family, and listen to a storytime together!

Here is a storytime in English and Gagana Sāmoa, How Do You Say ‘Thank You’? by Karamia Müller. Many thanks to the publisher Beatnik Publishing for allowing us to share this story!

Lewis Ioane made this video when he worked for Wellington City Libraries and now he works at the Porirua City Libraries!

Awesome Sāmoan books in our collection

To celebrate Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa, who not borrow a book in Sāmoan from your local library, or read up on Sāmoan history or geography?