In celebration of this year’s Tongan Language Week, the Tonga Youth Trust has sought innovative and collaborate ways to highlight the richness of Tongan culture.
Under the theme of “E tu'uloa 'a e Lea faka-Tongá 'o ka lea'aki 'i 'api, siasí (lotú), mo e nofo-'a-kāingá”, meaning, the Tongan Language will be sustainable if used at home, church and in the wider community, Susana Vailea, Community Connector for the Trust, shares some of the initiatives being driven by the Trust.
“This year for Tongan Language Week, the Tongan Youth Trust will be celebrating through the utilization of arts, crafts and singing. In our programs like the Akolelei program, our students will use this space to share knowledge of the Tongan language and culture.”
“Our women’s workshop will also celebrate the Tongan language through creating cultural crafts and sharing knowledge with one another.”
“We will also be visiting Kingsford Primary School in Mangere to host an activity for some students for Tongan Language Week.”
The Trust, which was established in 1997 for the purpose of driving initiatives that empower Tongan Youth and families, operates under its mission of equipping Tongan and Pasifika youth and their families with the knowledge, wisdom and courage to enable them to thrive within communities and to seek their full potential within the world.
Susana emphasises the value of maintaining the Tongan culture and identity, in being able to realize that potential.
“The importance of this year’s theme is to sustain the Tongan language at home, church and the wider community. And by doing so, our Tongan youth will preserve and maintain the language for future generations. It is crucial for our Tongan youth to understand the importance of Tongan language as it is part of their identity as a Pasifika individual.