Song, dance and feast all part of language week

News News & events

30 May 2016

Students from Ara's Business Administration programme in Ashburton Ara Institute of Canterbury Business Administration students in Ashburton.

"I found myself standing in front of a camera this morning wearing a sei in my hair and a lava lava. This is not my usual Thursday morning attire," says Business Administration student Georgia Dix.

Malō soifua! This week is Samoan Language Week and Ara Institute of Canterbury Ashburton Business students were ahead of the game in their efforts to celebrate this beautiful language.

"We decided to celebrate Samoan Language Week with a difference! We decided to put Ashburton on the map!" Business Administration student Barb Johnson says.

The group of six students did what business students do best and thought beyond the square deciding that it would be fun to learn a traditional Samoan song. One of their students, Denise Vaaelua, is Samoan so she became teacher for the day as they explored the new language.

"We had some giggles along the way as it turns out we weren't as fluent as Denise. But together as a class and a team we practiced and practiced," Dix says.

The team then decided that their own success could be used to motivate other students to try something different so they made a video and challenged other students to find ways to celebrate the Samoan language.

"We decided if we could record this as a video to show the other Business classes we could encourage everyone to be a part of Samoan Language week, jump out of their comfort zones and give it a go! As a class we dressed up and danced to create the final video," Dix says.

But having had a sing along and a dance the students soon realised that food was an essential part of any culture and so the students finished their celebration with a Samoan feast.

"The idea then snowballed into deciding it would be lovely to try some traditional Samoan food which we would all contribute to a shared lunch," Johnson says.

And what better way to celebrate Samoan Language Week than with a song, a dance and a feast?

The activities for the Samoan Language Week provided students with cultural insights which go beyond fun and games. Students had to apply tenacity, teamwork and explore a foreign culture – all skills vital in contemporary business.

"What an awesome experience it was, being a part of something that you wouldn't usually do definitely gives you a feeling of self-achievement and makes you feel all good inside," Dix says.

Ara Institute of Canterbury is a proud supporter of Samoan Language Week and has organised events throughout the week at the City Campus and Woolston Campus in Christchurch.

Samoan Language Week events

Aso Gafua
Aso Lua
Aso Lulu
Aso Tofi
Aso Faraile
OpeningWorkshop: Making Ula Lole (Lolly lei's)A taste of SamoaVisual display boardsStaff lavalava day
Rakaia centre, City campusRakaia centre, City campusOutside student service building, Woolston campusRakaia centre, City campusCity campus and Woolston campus
12pm - 1pm12pm - 1pm12pm - 1pmAll dayAll day
All week: Document display, outside the CMPA office in Rakaia centre, City campus