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Rotuman Community marks International Mother Language Day

Press Release – Auckland Rotuman Fellowship Group

The United Nations celebrates International Mother Language Day today, 21 February.Rotuman Community marks International Mother Language Day by announcing Language Classes

21 February 2019
‘OTOU FÄEAG TA : RAKOA . ‘INEA’IA . MAÜR’AKIA
MY LANGUAGE : LEARN IT . KNOW IT . LIVE IT
The United Nations celebrates International Mother Language Day today, 21 February.

The Rotuman Community in Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand is marking the day by announcing the commencement of its Rotuman Language Classes.

Organised by the Auckland Rotuman Fellowship Group Incorporated (ARFGI), the unique and endangered Rotuman language is being taught by Elders and qualified teachers.

Chairperson Mr Faga Fasala said, “We took the initiative using our own funds and resources, to move things forward and help save our unique language”.

The Language Classes, which are free, are open to everyone and not just Rotumans, and held every Saturday from 6pm at the Fickling Centre in Three Kings, Auckland.

“Language is what makes us who we are, and is part of our culture and identity”, Mr Fasala said, “And it is our duty to preserve this invaluable taonga”.

The Group is also hosting the Rotuman Langauge Week 2019 in Auckland from 12th to 19th May of this year.

Rotuman people are a separate ethnic group with their own distinct language, culture and identity, and originate from the Polynesian Island of Rotuma.

Rotuma consists of the island of Rotuma and its nearby islets, and is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, about 500 kms north of Fiji, and 500 kms west of Wallis & Futuna.

Rotuma was annexed by the British on 13 May 1881 (‘Rotuma Day’). Although Rotuma is its own nation, it is currently administered by Fiji as a dependency.

The Rotuman language is currently listed on the UNESCO List of Endangered Languages as “Vulnerable”.

Rotuma is described as an ‘untouched paradise’ with some of the world’s most pristine and beautiful beaches.

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