Friday, October 31, 2008
Pacific Island Affairs Minister Luamanuvao Winnie Laban recently launched Tuatua Mai, an interactive website designed to encourage increased learning of Cook Islands Maori. Visitors to the website will be able to learn and test themselves on spelling and pronunciation, while experiencing the sounds and sights of the Cooks.
You can read more here
What an exciting achievement for the Cook Island community. It is common knowledge that the acquisition of Cook Island Maori language has decreased over the years. Fortunately, we are seeing initiatives (such as this website) put in place to promote the language.
My sister and I spent lots of time immersed in the Cook Island culture and language, however, we were not privileged with the ability to speak the language fluently. On many occasions we asked our grandmother to talk to us in Cook Island Maori or share with us some of the words that we could most commonly use, her response was always along the lines of "I'm trying to learn English so you can help me". "Or its better for you to use papa'a for school". Its so very unfortunate that we did not get the chance to learn such a valuable treasure - but we are so very proud of the fact that she taught us so many other valuable lessons that have proved to be extremely useful attributes - be humble, work hard, give with all your heart, serve your community, educate yourself, respect your elders, and the list goes on.
Thanks Nana for these amazing life lessons and skills.