Topic: Pacific Affairs

Tuvalu Language Week highlights importance of Ianguage retention in Pacific

This week marks Tuvalu Language Week for 2015, and this year's theme is "Tau gana ko tou IIoga – Language is your identity".

Tuvalu, formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a Polynesian Island nation situated halfway between Australia and Hawai'i.

There are more than 3,500 Tuvaluan descendants residing in New Zealand and of those, 65% speak the language.

Globally, there are 13,000 Tuvaluan speakers.

Pacific Peoples Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga says "The idea of the theme is to empower and encourage the Tuvalu people to hold on to their language and culture,"

"The proportion of Pacific people speaking their languages is declining so it is important that we support communities to keep their languages and their cultures alive."

In total, there are seven Pacific language weeks this year with Samoan Language week that started back in May through to Tokelau Language week in October.