The FAGASA (Samoan Language Teachers' Association) Wellington Regional Gagana Samoa Competition was held at Mungavin Community Hall, Porirua on Friday 23 June.
The competition topic was "Ma'au i lou Ofaga; Maua'a lou fa'asinomaga"(Keep your identity alive and thrive). In order to thrive once must have a strong sense of identity.
Mana College had four representatives at the contest:
Sose Harold (Year 10) who spoke about the importance of family and upbringing as it is here that a Samoan child's sense of identity is nurtured and grown. She concluded by alluding to the fact that if a child is reared right, from the beginning, s/he will have a greater chance of succeeding in life.
Tipesa Samuel-Ulavale (Year 12) stressed the importance of holding on to your cultural values: respect, obedience and service, especially for those born and raised outside of Samoa. It is easy to lose one's sense of who they are and where they come from, when confronted with the challenges of living in a different culture. Home is where it starts.
Maraea Ah-Tune (Year 13) highlighted the conflicting set of values and practices in a new environment and therefore emphasised in her delivery, the importance of maintaining strong connections with family, village, culture and religion to strengthen ones identity and therefore ability to thrive.
Aukilani Nofoaiga (Year 13) focused strongly on lineage, village, names and titles, religion as all integral to nurturing and developing a strong sense of identity in a Samoan child. A Samoan is identified by these aspects. The ability to thrive is dependent upon how well these aspects are maintained and nurtured in one's life.
All four students worked hard prior to the competition and delivered with excellence and pride. Both Maraea and Aukilani now progress on to the Nationals.