News Centre

Cook Islands Language celebrated in style

Joshua De Guzman & Selai Ahovelo

Kia āriki au i tōku tupuranga, ka ora uatu rai tōku reo.  To embrace my heritage, my language lives on.

From 31 July – 4 August 2023, Sancta Maria College celebrated Cook Islands Language Week in a colourful and exciting manner. The school’s buildings and classrooms came alive with the rich heritage and traditions of the Cook Islands. This event is not only a celebration of language but also an opportunity for students to deepen their understanding of Cook Island culture.

Embracing the Language and Culture

The theme for this year was…

Ātuitui’ia au ki te au peu o tōku kāinga Ipukarea, which means, “connect me to the traditions & culture of my homeland”.  The highlight of the week was undoubtedly the vibrant cultural showcase. Music played in C-Block courtyard along with a performance from Selai Ahovelo and the school’s auditorium was reserved to play the film ‘The Silent One’.  Additionally, during the 12 o’clock silent time on Thursday, the students and teachers were led in prayer by Selai sharing the Hail Mary in Cook Islands Māori, ending with an announcement.

Language Learning

In addition to the performances and presentations, language learning activities were an integral part of the celebrations. Basic phrases and expressions in Cook Island Māori were displayed in various posters, sent out on our social media channels and in the daily notices.

Ko’ai tō’ou ingoa? What is your name?
Ko ______ tōku ingoa. My name is ______
Nō‘ea mai koe? Where are you from?
`E tangata au nō ______ mai. I am a person from ______

We would like to thank the Cultural Prefects, Mr. Rimamate, Mrs. Kevern and Selai for their involvement in making this week special for us.