Samoan Language Week

Event image v2

Pictured above: Brendon Hosken, Development Manager and Pastor Ron Muavae

Scroll to the bottom of the page for the English version

 

TALANOAGA MA RON

I le fa’ailogaina o le Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa, sa fa’atalatalanoa ai le Susuga i le Faife’au ia Ron Muavae e uiga i le tamao’aiga o le gagana Samoa i Oranga ma se uiga o lea mea ia te ia.

O le a le matua o lou soifua ina ua e faimalaga mai mai Samoa i Niu Sila?

Na matou o mai ma lo’u aiga i Niu Sila ua 10 o’u tausaga ma matou nonofo loa i Onehunga, o se nofoaga ua tele le vaega o lo’u olaga na ou ola ane ai. Na ou nofo i le auala o Mt Smart Road ma ou alu i le a’oga maualuga a Onehunga, ma o lenei talafatai ua pei o se aiga lautele ia te a’u.

Fa’amatala mai ou tiutefai i le talafatai o Oranga, o a mea e fai i lau galuega?

O a’u ma lo’u to’alua o Donna, (fa’apea foi le aiga o Short) o faife’au fa’avae ia o le Ekalesia po’o le lotu a le Alive International NZ. Ou te le’i fuafuaina e amata se ekalesia ae na saunia lava a’u e fai ma faife’au – o le fa’atuatuaga ma le ekalesia, o se vaega tele o lo’u olaga, ma o matua foi o o’u matua sa fai ma faife’au.

Ina ua amata la’u galuegai lenei talafatai, na vave ona ou iloaina  e mafai ona ou fesoasoani I mea fa’aletino e manana’o iai tagata, ae sa ou le maua se fiafia ona e le o fa’amalieina o latou mana’oga fa’aleagaga. O le fesoasoani i tagata matitiva e le na o le itu fa’aletino, ae e iai foi ma le fesoasoani iai ina ia fuafua lelei o latou olaga, fa’amalosi i tagata e fai so’o se mea, ma fa’asino ia i latou le taua o le lagolago e le tasi o le isi, o ‘i’ina tonu ou te fiafia tele e galue ai.  O lo’u agaga  lava o le galue i le talafatai ma tagata, ina ia lagolago, ma  fa’amalosiau i o’u tua’oi, ae le na o le lotu.

O a ni fuafuaga ua e faia e fa’ailoga ai le Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa ma lau palisi?

Ona o le Covid 19, o le tele o a matou p[olokalame o lo’o faia pea i komepiuta ma o lo’o fa’aitiitia foi. Ae matou te fa’ailogaina lava so’o se gagana i NiuSila, ma e matou te fiafia lava e fa’ailoga lenei Vaiaso o le gagana Samoa, i a matou komepiuta e ala i pese ma lauga.  

O se vaega taua o le aganu’u fa’asamoa o le feiloa’i ma tagata ma talatalanoa. O le feiloa’iga la i komepiuta, o se mea e matua ‘ese foi i le toa’tele o matou, ma ou te iloa o lo’o fa’atalitali uma tagata i le taimi matou te toe feiloa’i ma potopoto ai e pei ona masani ai. 

E talanoa fa’asamoa lou aiga i le fale?

Ioe, e fa’asamoa lo’u aiga i le fale, ou te manatu a e leiloa lau gagana, ua leiloa foi oe. E to’atolu la’u fanau tama ma o le ui’i e i le Tausaga 12 i le a’oga, ma e galue malosi i ana meaa’oga fa’asamoa. E matua fiafia ma feso’ota’i tele i le gagana, ma ua fa’amalosia ai lava ma matou uma e fa’asamoa i le fale. O lo’u to’alua o le Maori / Aealani, ma ua ia a’oa’oina lava le gagana Samoa i le fa’alogologo mai i le matou aiga o talatalanoa pe a potopoto.

O a ni mea lelei e maua mai i le fa’atauaina o le gagana Samoa i le aiga ma fafo atu?

O le lagona mitamita e le mafai ona fa’atusaina pe a malosi lau feso’ota’i i lau aganu’u, ma e le na o le lagona o oe o le Samoa. I la’u galuega i le Kainga Ora, na matou iloa ai o Oranga e 40% Polenisia, 40% palagi ae 20% Maoli, ma ou te iloa so’o tamaiti o lo’o sese le auala e ui ai ona latou te leiloa po’o ai latou. Atonu pe fai mai o i latou e omai i se tasi o aganu’u, ae matua leiloa lava measina ma le gagana a lena aganu’u. A matou fa’atasi la ma nei fanau, matou te taumafai e talanoa iai i le latou gagana – e fesoasoani ai ina ia fa’aleleia o latou lagona e uiga ia i latou lava.

I sou manatu, o le a le ki o le fa’aolaolaina pea o le gagana ma le aganu’u fa’asamoa i le talafatai o Oranga?

Ou te manatu e tatau, ma ua amata lava ona maua mai o tatou manatu i auala o lo’o fa’aaoga ai le Te Reo i vaega uma o le olaga. I totonu o le ekalesia ma le lotu, fa’apea foi ma le talafatai, ua amatalia ai polokalame e atagia ai le amataga mai o Oranga. Ou te manatu e mafai tele lava ona tatou galulue e fa’aolaola uma aganu’u, e ala lea i le mafaufau, o a mea mea taua e mana’omia e o tatou tagata, ma ia fa’atele foi ni fa’asalalauga i gagana ‘ese’ese.

O le a se mea e matua taua tele ia te oe e uiga i tagata ma le aganu’u fa’asamoa?

O le faiga o mea fa’asamoa e ‘ese mai isi atunu’u, ma lo latou finafinau. E ui i le tele o fa’afitauli e feagai ma tagata Samoa, ou te fiafia tele ona e le mafai ona faia’ina ai. E mafai ona e tu’uina tagata Samoa i so’o se mea lava o le lalolagi, ma e latou te fa’amasani i aga a le atunu’u o iai, ae le mafai lava ona galo le latou fa’asamoa, latou te fa’amanatuina lava pea ma fa’asoa atu foi i isi. O se fa’ata’ita’iga maoa’e o la’u uo sa i Amsterdam, ma e savali atu i se nofoaga sa alu iai, o le mea muamua lava na ia fa’alogoina o le musika Samoa.

O lo’o e lavea i le fuafuaina o le Fa’ato’aga a le Talafatai o Oranga, o le a maua ai fuala’au ‘aina, ae o a nisi itu e maua ai se fesoasoani mo tagata o Oranga?

O lo’o matou galulue ma Kainga Ora ma Piritahi i le fuafuaga o lenei galuega, ma a alualu lelei pea nei fuafuaga, o le a faia le fa’ato’aga i Oranga Avenue, o le ogatotonugalemu o le talafatai. O lo’u fa’anaunauta’iga la, ia tosoa’ina mai ai tagata uma o le talafatai ina ia feiloa’i ai. Ou te mana’o e avea le fa’ato’aga ma auala e galulue fa’atasi ai tagata, maua ai mea’ai, ma fai ma mea e feso’ota’i ai tagata o le talafatai.

O se fesili fa’avavevave! Ta’u mai sau alaga’upu fa’asamoa e te fiafia iai ma lona uiga:

Alaga’upu ma lona uiga:

E iai le alagaupu fa’asamoa e masani ona fai mai e lo’u tama ia te a’u ‘O le tama a le tagata e fafaga i upu ma tala ae o le tama a le manu e fafaga i fuga o la’au.’ O  lon uiga o fanau a tagata e a’oa’i i upu ae o tama a manu e fafaga  fatu o la’au.

Pese:

O le igoa o le pese ‘Ua fa’afetai’ o le pese e te fa’afetai ai i au uo, aiga, po’o se isi na agalelei ia te oe. E na o le lua fuai’upu ma ua iloa tele e tagata o se pese e fa’ai’u ai se potopotoga.

Ua fa’afetai
Ua fa’afetai
Ua malie mata e va’ai

Ua tasi lava oe
Ua tasi lava oe
I lo’u nei fa’amoemoe

Mea’ai: Sapa Sui and Luau

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In celebration of Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa (Samoa Language Week) we had a chat with local Pastor Ron Muavae about Oranga’s rich Samoan culture and what it means to him.

How old were you when you immigrated from Samoa to NZ?

I came to NZ at 10 years old with my family and we settled in Onehunga, which is where I’ve spent a large part of my life. I lived on Mount Smart Road, and went to Onehunga High School, so this community feels very much like an extended family to me.

Tell us about your role in the Oranga community, what does it involve?

My wife Donna and myself are the Pastors and co-founders (along with the Short family) of the Alive International NZ Church. I never planned to start a church, but I was groomed to be a priest—the church and faith have always been a big part of my life and my grandparents were also ministers.

When I started working with the community, I found that we were able to help meet people’s physical needs, but it bothered me that their spiritual needs were often still neglected. Helping people out of a poverty mindset isn’t just about material things, it’s about fostering a better outlook on life, encouraging people to give things a go, and showing them the value of supporting one another; and that’s where my real passion lies.

My heart is always outside the four walls of the church. My biggest enjoyment is being out in the community and doing what I can to uplift, support and motivate my neighbours. 

What plans do you have to celebrate Samoa Language Week with your parish and the community?

Due to Covid-19 a lot of our programs are still happening online so we’re a little restricted at the moment. However, we make an effort to celebrate all of New Zealand’s language weeks, and we can still enjoy Samoa Language Week online through song and sermon.

A key part of Samoan culture is that we’re a very physical people and we love face-to-face contact. So having to adjust to online services during Covid-19 has been an interesting time for many of us, and I know we’re all looking forward to the time when we can congregate safely again!

Does your family speak Samoan home?

Yes we do, I think if you lose your language you lose yourself. I have three boys, and my youngest is currently in Year 12 where he’s very involved in Samoan classes. He feels a really strong connection to the language, which has encouraged us to converse in Samoan even more at home. My wife is Maori/Irish and she’s completely learned the language through listening as our family always speak Samoan when we get together.

What do you think are the positive benefits of embracing Samoan language at home and in the community?

It’s about that immeasurable sense of pride that a person has when they’re connected to their culture. And it’s not just about being Samoan. In working with Kāinga Ora we’ve discovered that Oranga is roughly 40% Polynesian, 40% European and 20% Maori, and I often see kids who are going down wrong track partly because they just don’t know who they are. They might identify as being of a certain heritage, but they have no connection to those values, the language and the culture. So when we’re working with kids in particular, we really try to speak in their local dialect—it’s so important in helping them develop ‘good’ pride and building their self-worth.

In your opinion, what’s the key to keeping Samoan language and culture alive in the Oranga community?

I think we should, and we’re already starting to, take a lot of great cues from the ways Te Reo is built into everyday life. Within the church, and out the community, we’re initiating programmes that reflect Oranga’s heritage. I think we can do much better at keeping all cultures alive by thinking about the needs of our people and developing more multilingual content.

What do you love most about the Samoan community or Samoan culture?

It’s definitely the uniqueness of the people and their resilience. With all the struggles Samoans go through, what I love is how they survive. You can put Samoans anywhere around the world and they’ll adapt locally but they won’t lose their identity, they’ll always celebrate and share it. A great example is that my friend was recently in Amsterdam, and when he walked into a local venue the very first thing he heard was Samoan music!

You’re currently involved in planning the new Oranga Community Garden, aside from fresh vegies what do you hope to see locals gain from it?

I’ve been working with Kāinga Ora and Piritahi on this great initiative, and if things continue as planned, the garden will be located on Oranga Ave, which is really the vein of the whole community. So I hope it will pull together locals from all sides of the neighbourhood, introducing locals who may normally never otherwise meet. I’d love to see the garden create unity, deliver food and become a catalyst for connection in our wonderful community.

Quick questions! Tell us your favourite Samoan:

Proverb or saying and what it means:
Samoa also has a well-known saying that my Dad often used to say to me:
“O le tama a le tagāta e fafaga i upu ma tala, a o le tama a le manu e fafaga i fuga o lāau” – which means “The offspring of men are fed with words but the offspring of birds are fed with seeds.”

Song:
It’s called Ua Fa’afetai which is a thanks giving song you sing to give thanks to your friends, family or host at any gathering. It has only two verses and is known by many as the finale song for any event or gathering.

Ua fa’afetai
Ua fa’afetai
Ua malie mata e va’ai

Ua tasi lava oe
Ua tasi lava oe
I lo’u nei fa’amoemoe

Food: Sapa Sui and Luau