Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga / Tongan Language Week provides an opportunity for us at AUT to celebrate Tongan culture in New Zealand through music, song, dance, food, crafts and language.
This year at AUT, we have shaped our conversation around Tongan language week by using the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, we are looking at SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities.
"My mother always said to me, “'Alu ‘o tokanga ki he ako,” to go and focus on my studies, as I am sure many of us Tongans have heard before from our families.
My uncle said to me, "Pa Kuo Fa’u" to teach me that the effort put into the tools we will ultimately need in life, will be telling when we then choose to put these tools into practice.
"These quotes have stuck with me throughout my time at uni and remind me I stand on the shoulders of giants - those who have paved the way before me and have sacrificed a lot so that I may be where i am today.
"They remind me that I'm on a mission to succeed for myself and for those that stood before me and with me, so I must be proactive, courageous, resilient, resourceful and seek any help that will aid me in this journey.
"The effort and drive to do so must be similar to the ways in which my ancestors would thrive in their resourcefulness. It is in our DNA to do the same, regardless of whatever inequalities and inequities we face."