Samoan Language week

Victoria Slade —

Talofa Lava, Samoan language week was held from Sunday May 28th until Saturday 3rd June 2017.

Before the Samoan Language week, our Samoan senior class prepared three items of what we call a “ma’ulu’ulu” which is a traditional dance only performed by girls to show how elegant and sophisticated our Samoan girls are, a “sasa” a traditional slap dance that can be performed by males or females in a seated or standing position mainly seated, this dance requires a lot of hand movements that are used to depict activities taken by everyday life, and “taualuga” considered to be the centre of all dances within the culture and is reserved as a grand finale in many entertainment line up.

These items were prepared and performed at St Patricks Town on Monday the 29th of May, to celebrate our culture with other schools in the Wellington region. The day was an absolute blessing for all the students and staff. We begun the day with a prayer, sang the Samoan anthem then straight into zumba where one person from each school goes up to conduct the session and James Ropati was the volunteer from our school. We then had breakfast, Samoan games then lunch (islanders best friend) then finally the moment of truth where each school performs the items they have prepared for the day. It was truly a heartwarming feeling to watch everyone show their passion about the Samoan culture.

On Thursday of the same week, our Samoan Class (both seniors and juniors) assembled in the Marae to perform all three items for the staff and parents to showcase how passionate our students are within our culture. Not only we performed these items we also prepared a traditional feed for the staff and parents to thank them for their support and to acknowledge their acceptance of our beautiful Samoan culture.

The finale of the week was the speech competition where three students represented Naenae College, at Mungavin Hall, Porirua. They were Samuelu Ioapo, Agnes Vaafusuaga and Jannett Tafili. Sam was placed 2nd overall and Agnes in 4th place equal for yr 12 and Jannett was placed 6th for yr 11. It was a great learning curve for all 3 competitors with high hopes that next year, more students will compete in this annual contest. Our LAR classes were also given Samoan basic greetings and phrases and it was great fun listening to our fellow Pakeha and Maori students giving it a go..hahaha. All in all, i believe that this week celebration is a good way for us Samoan students to continue to live and celebrate our identity and culture as Samoans. I would also like to convey our sincere gratitude to Mr Nofoaiga, our Samoan teacher for all those long hours of practice and long lectures (LOL) so that we get our dances right.

Faafetai lava,

Victoria Slade