Malo e lelei – (hello). Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga (Tongan Language Week), from 3-9 September, provides an opportunity to celebrate Tongan culture here in New Zealand.
More than 60,000 people identify as Tongan in New Zealand and just over half can speak their mother tongue.
At AUT, our conversation for Tongan Language Week takes inspiration from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
– namely SDG #10: To reduce inequality within and among countries
In a video created by the Office of Pacific Advancement, Tongan staff and students talk about what equality in education looks like to them.
‘Ofa Halatanu, a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) student, says she is on a mission to succeed at university – not only for herself, but for those that stood before her.
“The effort and drive to succeed at university must be similar to the ways in which my ancestors would thrive in their resourcefulness. It is in our DNA to do the same, regardless of whatever inequalities we face,” she says.
Janet Tupou, a lecturer in Communication Studies, believes that equality can advance the Tongan language, culture and traditions in more ways than one.
“I feel that it provides a platform where you can build common ground and reduce any tensions or conflicts that may exist within the culture,” she says.
The video was created to raise awareness of SDG #10, generate discussion and share what is happening in Pacific communities to achieve this goal.
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Visit Pacific at AUT
for Tongan Language Week events across Auckland.
This week, people calling the main phone line at AUT will be greeted in the Tongan language and traditional Tongan music will play on hold.
Malo 'aupito – (thank you very much).