8 Oct 2013

First Fijian language week unites all Fijian people in NZ

3:52 pm on 8 October 2013

A Pasifika teacher says the first-ever Fijian language week in New Zealand unites all Fijian people despite their differences.

The week-long event which was launched on Monday, is being promoted by various organisations, businesses, including the Auckland Fiji Community, Victoria University in Wellington and the Canterbury Fiji Community.

Under Fiji's constitution, the term Fijian refers to all people living in Fiji, regardless of race.

A lecturer in Fiji's Bau dialect at the Pasifika Education Centre in Auckland, Tarisi Vunidilo says the language week highlights the importance of the Bauan language and is significant because it includes all Fijians.

"A lot of us organisers are very emotional about it. It's because its got everybody coming together. So despite all the differences, all the other you know, political issues that affect Fiji that Fiji is known for in the media, this week is something that has made us forget all about our differences."

Tarisi Vunidilo says she hopes Fijian language week will encourage young people in New Zealand to continue speaking Bauan at home.