Posted by admin on Feb 01, 2011

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Keeping Samoan Language and Culture Alive

Afamasaga and MataafaOtago Access Radio show Voice of Samoa is a “must-have” for the Samoan communities of the region, according to Samoan Advisory Council national president Afamasaga Pavihi.

Members of the council’s regional branch, Fono Faufautua E Samoa I Otago, host the Monday evening programme between 6pm and 8pm, presenting panel discussions and fielding talkback calls on topics of interest to Samoan listeners.

This programme is a must-have, because it’s the only way we can reach out to all our separate Samoan communities,” Mr Pavihi said.

Each of our churches has its own way of reaching out to their own communities but radio enables us to share news and talk about what is happening with everyone.”

Voice of Samoa co-host Mataafā Sauleone said preservation of the Samoan language was a priority for New Zealanders of Samoan heritage. The radio show provided two hours of Samoan-language content that was otherwise unavailable in the Otago region.

We always remind our people, our language is our identity and we should use it wherever we go,” he explained.

They have responded very well to our talkback, not only Dunedin listeners but also our people in Balclutha and Oamaru.”

Topics for discussion ranged from politics to sport, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between Samoan cultural values and New Zealand law.

Music from Samoan artists was another regular feature, appreciated by a wide audience, Mr Pavihi said.

Other Pacific Island nation communities are tuning in, we know that,” he said. “But they tune in mainly for the music.”

Funding from the Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS) had covered airtime costs in the short term but further sponsorship would secure the programme’s future.

We would love to hear from any person or business who can support what we are doing.”

Voice of Samoa – Mondays 6pm to 8pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, and live and podcast from and iTunes. Phone talkback on 471 7171.

Photo: Preserving language and culture: Afamasaga Pavihi (left) and Mataafā Sauleone, host of OAR FM show ‘Voice of Samoa’.


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