Tongan spirit celebrated

posted: 1:18 pm - 3rd September 2017
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The Tongan Language Week celebrations have started.

An official ceremony at the Auckland Memorial Museum launched the official start of the Tongan Language Week in New Zealand.

Pacific Peoples Minister Hon Alfred Ngaro says instead of the usual week, this year the Tongan community has decided to celebrate the language for an entire year.

“Tongans have a great competitive spirit and it shows through their commitment to language celebrations this year,” says Mr Ngaro.

“I encourage all Kiwis to take on some of that Tongan spirit this week and challenge everyone to speak, cook or even dance like a Tongan.”

 “Teki is a popular move in Tongan dance and I’d love to see people giving it a go this week and sharing their efforts on social media with the hashtag #teki.”

Mr Ngaro also encourages people to exchange the normal hello or kia ora for mālō e lelei.

“Try some Tongan food, lu sipi (a Tongan traditional dish made of taro leaves accompanied with lamb, onion and coconut milk) or check out one of the events happening across the country.”

“There are lots of ways to get out and celebrate lea faka-Tonga (the Tongan language) and anga faka-Tonga (Tongan culture),” says Mr Ngaro.

The theme for the week is “Fakakoloa Aotearoa ‘Aki’ A e Nofo ‘A Kainga” which translates into English as, “Enriching Aotearoa with our Family values”.

This is an opportunity for Tongans to celebrate their language and promote being Tongan in New Zealand.

Tonga Language Week ends on Saturday 9 September.