Fijians in Southland can still embrace their culture far away from the islands with a language school that has started in Invercargill.
Southland Fijian Society president Fili Tagicakibau said they had always wanted to do something for their kids in the community.
A lot of the kids were of full Fijian descent but did not have an understanding of their culture and could not speak the language because they were taught in English in schools, Tagicakibau said.
The language school had 40 children from the ages of 9 months to 16 years old learning the language.
The Fijian population had been growing in Southland in the last three years, with people coming to Southland for jobs in dairy and trade work, Tagicakibau said.
The language school had been running three times a week during the school holidays but would continue on a monthly basis afterwards, he said.
Sunday marks the start of Fijian language week and a three-day workshop will take place for the children to learn language, culture and history.
The celebrations for the week will end with Fijian Independence Day on October 10, where the children will present what they had learned to the community at the Pacific Island Advisory Cultural Trust.