About me and my language community
Name: Sisilia Gravelle
Vinaxa vaxlevu vei Blake va’a xei Jenny ni vei vulici e na proxaramu ni LDTC me rawa ni exevu ‘axi a volavola, xaoni ni vosa, va’a me buli a mona livaliva ni veiariari ni vosa va Bua mai Vanua Levu. Va’a alega xeidruxa a ‘oku i lala, Repexa Goldschmidt mai Jamani va’ xei Jexope Hakim mai Ijipita.
I am focusing on the documentation of Buan language in Vanua Levu. I am a graduate student with AS and BS degree in Travel Industry & Hospitality Management and a graduate student in the Center for Pacific Island Studies (CPIS). I speak Buan language at home to my parents, extended family and the community. There are 300 languages in Fiji and about 450,000 people speak Fijian as their first language particularly in Vanua Levu and the eastern half of Viti Levu and also some other outer islands to name a few, Kadavu, Kabara, Lakeba and Nayau. There are 200,000 people who speak Fijian as a second language. (Omniglot, 2018)
The indigenous community believes in preserving the language by speaking and written communication. Language is our identity that is attached to their culture and heritage. The Buan language has no writing system “so all that is needed for language revitalization is a minimum of one person who is dedicated to the cause. That one person can do a great deal with no support from the community …” (Hilton and Hale 2001.6).
Thank you for giving me the opportunity of writing, reading, recording an audio video and building a Buan website for the first time in the world in a written form. It has been a humbling experience to share my language and achieving Buan literacy is something I have been passionate about enabling my dream come true.
Banner image from Wildlife Conservation Society Fiji