UCOL | Te Pūkenga held celebrations for Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e lea faka-Tonga - Tongan Language Week today at the Manawatū campus in Palmerston North.
Tongan national and Bachelor of Social Services student, Luana Tonga, was inspired to coordinate the celebration and was happily supported by UCOL’s Māori and Pasifika ākonga kaitiaki team, Raukura.
“I’m so pleased to have helped coordinate a celebration for my native language. This year’s theme is Ke Tu'uloa 'a e lea faka-Tonga′ 'i Aotearoa, which means Sustaining the Tongan Language in Aotearoa. It’s really cool to have bought together a range of food tastings and performances that celebrate the Tongan language,” she says.
“I’m chuffed with how it went, we were spoilt with two Tongan dance performances – one from a group of students from Amanaki STEM Academy (ASA), with whom UCOL | Te Pūkenga has a partnership with and the second from St Peter’s student Sia Ma’asi and Palmerston North Girls’ High student ‘Ala Matakaiongo; a range of Tongan food tastings; and a range of flash cards which taught attendees new Tongan words and phrases.
“We’d like to say a big thank you to our event sponsors, SENZ Training and Employment Centre and our internal team Te Mataora, who have helped us to share the koloa of our language,” Tonga explains.