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Rotuma celebrates first ever language week

04 May 2018

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

By Ruci Farrell -

The Rotuman community in Auckland is kick-starting its own campaign to save its language from extinction, with the launch of Rotuman Language Week this Sunday.

Rotuma is a Fijian dependency, consisting of Rotuma Island and nearby islets, with a population of almost 2000.

New Zealand rugby sevens star Rocky Khan, whose mother is Rotuman, will be among guests at Western Springs Community Garden Hall for the launch of the event.

Faga Fasala, chairperson of the Auckland Rotuman Fellowship Group, says Rotumans have been gifted a unique heritage that they can trace back to Polynesia and Asia.

"Rotuma is unique. Most of our ancestors are from Samoa and Tonga. We have some that are groups from the Banaba Island," he says. 

"I believe we're a minority people in the world today."

More than 5,000 Rotumans in New Zealand will celebrate the language week with a line-up of storytelling, singing, dancing and youth initiatives in their mother tongue.

Rotuman dance at the Rotuma Kato'aga gathering in Wellington 2012. Photo/ Tagata Pasifika.

Tags: Rotuma Island,