Talofa . . . Vasa Tauaa has been sharpening up his language skills during Samoan Language Week. PHOTO: GUS PATTERSON

Samoan Language Week has been Vasa Tauaa’s time to shine.

The Oamaru Intermediate School pupil has been fronting the camera to share Samoan words and phrases on social media, as the annual language week celebrations moved mostly online this year.

It had been good practice for the aspiring actor.

“It’s a bit nerve-wracking,” he said.

Vasa (11) speaks Tuvaluan and English at home, but wants to learn more of the Samoan language.

“If I go to visit my grandparents, they speak Samoan,” he said.

“I want to learn it so I can understand it better when people talk to me.”

Vasa was born in Auckland and moved to Oamaru four years ago, but felt a strong connection to Samoa, even supporting its rugby team over the All Blacks.

“I really want to go to Samoa to visit my family there,” he said.

Vasa’s mother, Oamaru Pacific Island Community Group secretary Maiele Amosa-Paia, said it was important to celebrate Samoan Language Week.

“We need to keep our language alive. It’s part of our identity and expression,” Mrs Amosa-Paia said.

“It’s especially important for the kids to learn and embrace the culture, and understand where we come from, and where our ancestors come from.”

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