Fakafeiloaki – it's Tokelau Language Week

Publish Date : 23 Oct 2016
Fakafeiloaki – it's Tokelau Language Week

Vaiaho o te Gagana Tokelau (Tokelau Language Week) runs from 23 October to 29 October, celebrating the culture and language of this tiny island nation.

For people from Tokelau living in New Zealand, family, community, and language are the centre of Faka-Tokelau, the Tokelauan way of life. 

More than half of the country’s Tokelau community live in the Porirua and Hutt Valley areas of Wellington, and there are also Tokelau communities in Auckland, Taupō, and Rotorua.

Visiting artists

Four artists from Tokelau – three master weavers and a master carver – are visiting New Zealand during Tokelau Language Week, and they will be making a stop at Fresh Gallery Ōtara on Monday 31 October.

See Fresh Gallery’s Facebook page for more information.

Learn the lingo

Try out your language skills with these easy words and phrases in te gagana Tokelau.

  • Fakafeiloaki: Greetings
  • Mālo ni! Hello!
  • Ulu tonu mai: Welcome
  • E fakafeiloaki atu: We greet you
  • Fakafetai: Thank you
  • Te mānaia o te aho: It is a beautiful day
  • Te mānaia o nā hiva faka-Tokelau: Tokelau dancing is beautiful
  • Tōfā ni: Good bye

Once you’ve mastered these, why not have a go at this Tokelauan proverb.

Ko te tama a te manu e fafaga i na ika,
ka ko te tama a te tagata e fafaga i na kupu.

Birds feed their young with fish,
humans feed their young with words.

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