The first week in June was Samoan Language week and the tamariki and teachers at Eden Cottage used it as an opportunity to get to know more about Samoan culture. We were also invited to participate in the Visionwest Samoan Language Week celebration on Friday 4 June.
Throughout the week leading up to the celebration, we learned different Samoan greetings and songs, and to count in Samoan. Also, we did Samoan art and tapestry. We made grass skirts (out of paper, of course) and paper flowers so we’d look great for our performance.
After a week of practice, tamariki performed their chosen song Le Aute Samoa. It’s a lovely slow song about Samoa and talks about the flower, placing the flower in your hair, and wearing your necklace. They also learned the song Savalivali, which they used to warm up their voices each morning.
We tried lots of Samoan food too, tasting pineapple pie, taro, cocoa rice pudding and Fa’apapa (baked coconut bread).
It was great for tamariki to be immersed in the Samoan culture in this way and to feel connected to the Samoan community around us.