The Tuvalu community across New Zealand will celebrate this week Vaiaso o te Gagana Tuvalu – Tuvalu Language Week.
Minister for Pacific Peoples Barbara Edmonds says, “preserving the Tuvalu language is the community’s call to maintain, embrace and cherish its value.”
“In 2023, Tagata Tuvalu Otautahi Incorporated and the wider community have selected the theme of Fakatumau kae fakaakoi tau ‘gana ke mautu a iloga o ‘ta tuā translating to Preserve and embrace your language to safeguard our heritage identities.”
Tuvalu consists of nine inhabited islands with a population of approximately 11,000 people. It is also the fourth-smallest nation in the world.
In New Zealand, there are over 4,600 people who identify as Tuvaluan and 48 percent are Te Gana Tuvalu speakers. 54 percent of our total population are New Zealand-born and only 25 percent of those under the age of 15 can speak the language.
“Tuvalu community groups are working together to showcase their language across a variety of virtual and in-person activities this week including: traditional dancing, church services, flag raising ceremonies, craft making, cooking sessions, and children’s activities.
Tuvalu Language Week runs from 1 October to 7 October.