31 Aug 2015

New Zealand celebrates Tongan language

4:04 pm on 31 August 2015

Tongan language is being celebrated this week throughout New Zealand with this year's theme aimed at enriching the country with Tongan arts.

Community events will include tapa cloth making workshops, combined church services, story telling and poetry sessions.

Hana Sevao, the Pacific liaison person from Otara library in South Auckland and co-ordinator for some of this week's activities, says the events attract people from other cultures who want to learn more about Tongan language.

Ms Sevao, who is Samoan herself, says celebrating Pacific languages in New Zealand helps raise awareness of other cultures.

"It's also very important for others to be learning the Tongan language. Like, for myself and I'm excited to support and to promote all these activities in the Tongan language and I'm learning as well."

Tongan youth dance wearing traditional ta'ovala or woven waist mats.

Tongan youth dance wearing traditional ta'ovala or woven waist mats. Photo: AFP

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