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  • Ashleigh Putt-Fallows

Pacific Nations and Languages

This year @Salient we decided we wanted to celebrate our Pasifika language weeks, and not just the

official ones. The uni community we are a part of is diverse, and while the New Zealand government may

not officially recognise all our Pacific whanau we want to celebrate as many as possible. Most of the

remaining issues will feature a celebration of different pasifika languages and nations. This will look

different week to week, and may feature one state or multiple.

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)

Located north of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, FSM is home to over 100,000 people. It

comprises four federated states: Chuuk(Truk), Kosrae, Pohnpei(Ponape), and Yap, which jointly declared

independence from the US in 1979. FSM has 607 islands and 6 recognised ethnic groups.

Chuukese/Mortlockese, Pohnpeian, Kosraean, Yapese, Yap outer islanders, Polynesian, Asian. It’s

important to note that there is a distinct different between “high islanders” and outer islands

FSM’s official language is English, but Chuukese, Kosrean, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Ulithian, Woleaian,

Nukuoro and Kapingamarangi are also spoken across the various islands.

Chuukese: Ran annim, ifa usum? (Hello, how are you?)

Kosrean: Kato (Beautiful)

Pohnpeian: Kalahngan (Thank you)

Yapese: Gu ba’adag em (I love you)

Ulithian: Buulaong (Come in)

Woleaian: Felaafish, iuyeiuy, getalishi (peace, unity, liberty - FSM’s motto)

Nukuoro: Abo donu (real, true, well, considerate, kind, generous)

Kapingamarangi: Hau (Hibiscus Tree)

The phrases and words above were found in dictionaries, articles and videos, mostly created for the

purpose of preserving language and helping visitors who visit to communicate.

It’s important to recognise that all cultures and languages, especially those of Micronesia, are incredibly

diverse. There are different dialects within languages, unrecognized languages and peoples and, with

polynesia being so spread out across large and small islands and villages, an unimaginable amount of

culture that simply can’t be fully appreciated with just words. We encourage everyone to be respectful,

open minded and always keep learning <3

The languages of Micronesia don’t have an official week recognised by the New Zealand Government.

Māuruuru roa & Ngā Mihi,

Mauatua Fa'ara-Reynolds (she/they)

Ashleigh Putt-Fallows (she/her/ia)


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