Massey marks Tongan language week with music, speeches and feasting

Tongan language week was celebrated at Massey University yesterday with speeches and a lively performance by the Northcote College’s student cultural group.

Celebrations have been held across New Zealand this week.

Events to come include a film festival and a day of activities on Saturday.

The celebration was opened by the director of the university’s Pasifika centre, Associate Professor Malakai Koloamatangi.

Guest speaker Siaosi ‘Ilaiū said Tongans should use their most important values to enrich New Zealand society in whatever field.

He said this was in line with the motto of language week which was ‘Nofo-‘a-Kāinga: A Tongan way of enriching Aotearoa New Zealand.’

‘Iliaū is a Phd candidate who has been researching the connections between Tongan philosophy and the ideas of ancient Greek philosophers  such as Socrates and Aristotle.

Entertainment for the opening ceremony was provided by selected members of the Northcote College Tongan cultural group, led by Tofia Taufalele.

The group draws in Tongan and part-Tongan students from several schools and is a regular performer at Polyfest.

The group played a number of traditional songs as well as performing several Tongan dances, including the paddle dance.

Guests at the event were invited to join a meal of pork, yam and taro.

One of the highlights of yesterday’s event at Massey was a performance by Soane Tatuila Pusiaki, who played the nose flute, or fangu fangu.

He said the instrument’s name conveyed the idea that the musician breathed in life and blew out a tune.

He said they were traditionally used by about five families who served as court musicians in Tonga.

They would be played outside the sleeping quarters of the royal family to wake them in the morning.

One of his ancestors came from one of these families and so the instrument was handed down to him.

His grandfather taught him to play it.

Pusiaki teaches Tongan at Northcote High and is the only teaching doing this on the shore.

He has 11 students, two of them from Tonga.

He said there was a problem with second generation language loss and said that in some cases if children did not speak Tongan at school they would not speak it at all.

The main points

  • Tongan language week was celebrated at Massey University yesterday with speeches and a lively performance by the Northcote College’s student cultural group.
  • Guest speaker Siaosi ‘Ilaiu said Tongans should use their most important values to enrich New Zealand society in whatever field.
  • Celebrations have been held across Tonga this week.
  • Events to come include a film festival and a day of activities on Saturday.

More Tongan language week events

Tonga short films (Friday)

Tongan language week Te Oro arts centre (Saturday)

1 COMMENT

  1. Naʻe kātoangaʻi e Uike Lea Faka-Tongá ʻi he ʻUnivēsiti Mesí ʻaneafi ʻaki ha ngaahi lea mo ha ngaahi faiva ne tā ʻe he kulupu faiva fakaangafakafonua ʻa e Kolisi Noofukoutí.

    ʻOku fakahoko foki ha ngaahi kātoanga tatau he uiké ni ʻi he komiuntī Tonga ʻi Nuʻu Silá.

    ʻOku kau ʻi he ngaahi meʻa ʻe fakahokó ha faiva heleʻuhila mo e ngaahi ʻekitivitī kehekehe ʻi he Tokonaki ko ʻení.

    Naʻe fakaava ʻa e kātoanga ʻi Mesí ʻe Tokoni Palōfesá Malakai Koloamatangi.

    Naʻe pehē ʻe he fakaafe fakalāngilangi ʻo e ʻahó Siaosi ʻIlaiū, ʻoku totonu ke ngāueʻaki ʻe he kakai Tongá ʻa ʻenau ngaahi mataʻikoloa mahuʻinga tahá ke fakakoloaʻaki ʻa e sōsaieti Nuʻu Silá ʻi ha faʻahinga malaʻe pe.

    Naʻá ne pehē ʻoku napangapanga mālie ʻeni mo e moto ʻo e uike leá ʻa ia ko e “Nofo-ʻA-Kāinga – Ko ha founga faka-Tonga ki hono fakakoloa ʻo ʻAotealoa Nuʻu Silá.”

    Ko ʻIlaiuú ko e toko taha ako Toketā Filōsefa ia kuó ne fakatotolo ki he ngaahi fehokotaki ʻo e filōsofia faka-Tongá mo e ngaahi fakakaukau ʻa e kau filōsefa Kalisi motuʻá hangē ko Sokolatesi mo ʻĀlisitōtoló.

    Ko e fakafiefia ne kamataʻaki ʻa e kātoangá naʻe fai ia ʻe ha kau ako ne filiʻi mei he Kolisi Noofukoutí ʻo tataki ʻe Tofia Taufalele.

    Ne kau ki he kulupú ni ʻa e fānau ako Tonga mo konga Tonga mei he ngaahi ako kehe ne faʻa kau ki he faiva he Polifesí.

    Naʻe faivaʻi ʻe he kulupú ha ngaahi hiva tukufakaholo pehē ki ha ngaahi tauʻolunga kau ai ʻa e meʻetuʻupaki.

    Ne fakaafeʻi foki ʻa e kau fakaafé ki ha maʻumeʻatokoni ne fungani ʻaki ʻa e puaka, ʻufi mo e talo.

    Ko e taha ʻo e ngaahi mālie ʻo e ʻaho ʻo Mesí ko hono ifiʻi ʻo e fangufangú ʻe Soane Tatuʻila Pusiaki.

    Naʻá ne pehē ʻoku mahino mei he hingoa ʻo e meʻaleá ni ʻa e fakakaukau naʻe mānavaʻaki ʻe he taha tā fangufangú ʻa e moʻui ʻo ne puhiʻi maiʻaki ha foʻi fasi.

    Naʻá ne pehē foki fakatatau ki he tukufakaholó naʻe fakaʻaongaʻi e meʻaleá ni ʻe ha fāmili ʻe nima nai ne nau hoko ko e kau punake ki he fale ʻo e tuʻí ʻi Tonga.

    Naʻe tā ia ʻi tuʻa ʻi palasi ko e fakatakatōfā he pongipongí. Naʻe kau ai ʻa e taha ʻene ngaahi kuí peá ne akoʻi ai ia ki he meʻaleá ni, ko e lau ia ʻa Pusiakí.

    ʻOku akoʻi ʻe Pusiaki ʻa e Tongá ʻi he Ako Māʻolunga Noofukoutí ʻa ia ko e akoʻanga pe ʻeni ʻoku nau akoʻi ʻa e Tongá he kauvaí.

    ʻOku toko 11 ʻene kau akó.

    Naʻá ne pehē kuo ʻi ai ha palopalema ko e mole ʻa e lea ʻi he toʻutangata hono uá mo ne pehē kapau ʻe ʻikai lea faka-Tonga e fānaú he akoʻangá ʻe ʻikai ke nau toe leaʻaki ia ʻe kinautolu.

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