The Rotuman Community in Auckland has announced commencement of Rotuman Language Classes, marking the ‘International Mother Language Day,’ observed throughout the world on February 21, 2019 as a United Nations approved programme.
Organised by the Auckland Rotuman Fellowship Group Incorporated (ARFGI), the endangered Rotuman language is being taught by elders and qualified teachers.
Chairperson 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, open to everyone including Non-Rotumans will be held every Saturday from 6 pm at the Fickling Convention Centre in Three Kings, Mount Albert Road, Auckland.
“Language is what makes us who we are and is part of our culture and identity. It is our duty to preserve this invaluable taonga,” Mr Fasala said.
ARFGI is also hosting the ‘Rotuman Language Week 2019 in Auckland from May 12 to May 19, 2019.
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.
The British annexed Rotuma on May 13, 1881 (‘Rotuma Day’). Although a nation by itself, Rotuma 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 ‘Untouched Paradise’ with some of the world’s most pristine and beautiful beaches.
For information, please contact AREFGI President George Nonu on 021-08792415 or Deputy Secretary Jioji Vai on 021-02782216. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org,