Tapena sou ōso mo lau malaga – Samoan Language Week 2020

Talofa lava!

It has been a while since we’ve posted, with the pandemic looming and seeing an abrupt transformation around the world and in our daily lives, we hope you are coping and are doing well wherever you are.

For many people the current climate has seen them alter, defer and postpone certain events in their personal lives, work circumstances as well as community events. Our PICAA family have also done the same, despite the changes and lockdown we’ve remained connected and in good spirits practicing social distancing and waiting patiently for restrictions to be lifted so we can get back to work!

It has been great to see so many virtual events keep us engaged during these trying times.

One event that was celebrated this week was Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa – Samoan Language Week. This year’s theme for Samoan Language Week, “Tapena sou ōso mo lau malaga – Prepare yourself a gift for your travels.”

Samoan Language Week has become an integral part of Samoan communities worldwide through various community events and celebrations to highlight the importance of Gagana Samoa (Samoan Language). With the population of Samoans growing within diasporic communities such as in New Zealand, United States of America and Australia the importance of this week plays a fundamental role for us living outside our Motherland seeking to learn more about our language and honour our culture.

This year’s theme highlights the significance of a oso (gift) in which we prepare to take with us on our journeys. The values of alofa (love) and fa’aaloalo (respect) are paramount in the Samoan culture, this tying directly to the notion of “preparing yourself a gift” as the theme accentuates. For many Samoans, a oso (gift) is generally shared with our family, friends and our communities. You know when you go back to the islands, a oso (gift) is a must, we’d probably pack a suitcase alone for just gifts for our loved ones back in the Motherland.

In this context, the theme may not be telling us to buy a few packets of Cookietime take with us, but preparing to showcase YOUR gift wherever you may go on your journey and with whomever you come by throughout your travels. For Pacific Islanders in the disaspora, our cultural identity is one of the greatest gifts we have to share with the world and this year’s Samoan Language Week theme serves as a great reminder for ALL of us!

As with most events over the past few months, Samoan Language Week was celebrated virtually with many of our Pasefika artists and communities posting a quick “Talofa lava!” video or even a throwback of a siva Samoa performance.

So how did our PICAA family celebrate Samoan Language Week?

Well: TikTok!

Let’s be honest, with isolation and lockdown you’ve made a TikTok account and so did we!

As with the rest of the world, our PICAA family have not been able to come together to jam, dance or perform. However,thanks to TikTok, we’ve kept ourselves entertained and recorded some cool stuff on TikTok! For Samoan Language Week our PICAA Creative and head of theatre Fulisia Asalemo Tofete was on FIRE with his TikTok’s in celebration of Samoan Language Week. Check his TikTok’s out!

@picaa_inc

Here are some of our PICAA family and some of the words we use in rehearsals. #samoacheck #samoa #languageoftheweek #australia #pacific

♬ Manu Samoa – Te Vaka

Make sure to follow us on TikTok (@picaa_inc) or by clicking here!

Lastly, one of our PICAA Creatives Delsa Evotia Tuitea featured on Samoan Language Week 2020‘s “Fa’asoa Mai” segment via Instagram, check it out below:

View this post on Instagram

Introducing Delsa Evotia Tuitea one of our talented artists located in Melbourne, Australiawho is sharing her thoughts on the theme today. She is a graduate from La Trobe University with a Bachelor of Arts in Film, Theatre and English. In 2016 Delsa wrote the play Amataga o le Alofa – the beginning of love. This show displayed a variety of Sāmoan creative arts. Delsa is a gifted playwright, a great singer and strong advocate for upcoming Pacific talent. If you are located in Melbourne then follow the amazing work and the talented people of the Pacific Island Creative Arts Australia Inc and get behind our young Sāmoan/Pacific artists paving the way for the next generation. Ia fa’amanuia le Atua ia te oe Evo ma ou galuega fai. #SLW2020WORLDWIDE 🇼🇸

A post shared by SLW 2020 WORLDWIDE (@samoanlanguageweek2020) on

The idea behind this intiative was to create a platform for Samoans all around the world to celebrate Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa, let’s be honest if we are going to celebrate Samoan Language Week virtually let’s get everyone involved, you may have seen their hashtag while scrolling through social media this week #SLW2020WORLDWIDE! Be sure to check out their page and give them a follow @samoanlanguageweek2020.

It’s been a delight to scroll through the internet this week and see our Samoan brothers and sisters showcase their pride for their Mother tongue and cultural identity. With so much uncertainty in the world right now, the celebration of Samoan Language Week really has been a gift.

As a Pacific Island organisation based in the diaspora, building our communities and witnessing our people thrive through all walks of life is a profound gift that we can continue to share with one another in the hopes we can leave behind a legacy for the future generations. Many times we see people who may be discouraged or scared to take that step, but no matter who you are, young or old, born in Samoa or Australia, fluent in your mother tongue or just beginning to learn, it’s important to share YOUR gift along the journey!

That’s our challenge for you who may be reading this,things may be different and we’re unsure when things will return back to normal. But know this YOU have a gift, and we encourage you to share it, make someone smile with a TikTok in your Pasefika attire or an Instagram video of your siva, send a message to check in on your mates or post an old school pic for laughs(because we’ve all been decluttering our homes in iso and finding old pics).

Whatever it may be, go on and share it!

E pei lava o le fa’amanatu a le autu mo lenei tausaga “Tapena sou oso mo lau malaga”, ma ia fai fo’i lea ma se fafagu mo i tatou uma.

Ia manuia tele le fa’amanatuina o le Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa!

Alofaaga PICAA

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