The Samoan community in New Zealand has been facing challenges in keeping their language and culture alive. Many families are concerned about not being able to speak their native language and are looking for ways to preserve it. That is where the Pi Faitau colouring book comes in.
Pi Faitu was written by TUSIA collective, an indigenous language group created by publishing house Flying Geese. TUSIA aims to support indigenous languages across Aotearoa and invite communities to build their own collective bookshelf.
The book features the Samoan alphabet as colouring pages and is a wonderful tool to help children learn the language and keep it alive. Nurses who run B4 School checks, have ordered copies of the book and are giving them out to Pasifika children.
“The language brings elders and children together,” Karen Carpenter, Youth Residence and B4 School Check Registered Nurse, said.
One grandmother shared that she gave Pi Faitau to her granddaughter to help her learn the language and keep it alive. She knows firsthand the importance of the Samoan language, as her mother lost it and felt embarrassed when she returned to Samoa and could not speak it.
The language is not only important for communication, but it also brings families and communities together. Many Samoan families have migrated to New Zealand, and not all parents and grandparents live there. The Pi Faitau colouring book is an excellent way to help educate children in their language.