A series of Pacific language weeks will be celebrated at AUT University (AUT)over the coming months to promote and maintain Pacific language and culture through song, dance, cultural displays, language debates, speech competitions, constitution celebrations, to name but a few.
Head of Pacific Advancement, Walter Fraser, says AUT’s active and enthusiastic participation in Pacific language weeks proves its commitment to the support of Pacific peoples and their communities.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to celebrate the various Pacific nationalities and cultures which form part of AUT’s DNA – Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Tuvalu, Fiji, Niue, and Tokelau.”
Samoan Language Week celebrations at AUT
This year’s theme for Samoan Language week was ‘Taofi mau i au measina - Hold fast to your treasures’.
“This theme is very meaningful to us,” says Jordan Schaumkel, Co-President of the AUT Samoan Students Association. “Education is one such treasure and is something we should all hold on dearly to – it will shape our futures and help us fulfil our dreams.”
The celebrations kicked off on Monday 26 May with a march by our ECE students and staff, followed by a rendition of the Samoan National Anthem.
Staff and students also had the opportunity to test their sporting talents through participating in a Kirikiti match – a popular Samoan sport similar to cricket.
The AUT Samoan Language debate, hosted by AUT’s Pacific Professor Tagaloatele Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop, saw our students’ debate with each other and with members of the community on whether or not the Samoan culture has been influenced by our desire for modern goods.
On the last day of festivities, staff and students were invited to bring in their favourite Samoan food and to dress in their favourite Samoan attire for a shared lunch. The celebrations will wrap with cultural song and dance performances by AUT’s ECE students and the AUT Samoan Students Association.
In what is believed to be the first for any university in New Zealand, the main AUT University phone number, +64 9 921 9999, was also answered in Samoan during Samoan Language Week. This will also be done for the other Pacific language weeks.
2014 Pacific Language Week programme:Samoa Language Week: 25-31 May
Last updated: 05-Jun-2014 2.15pm
The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.