Samoan Radio Show Promotes Language and Culture

A new radio show and podcast aimed at fostering interest in Samoan language and culture has joined OAR FM Dunedin’s Friday evening schedule.

Lupe Fetala’i is backed by the recently established incorporated society Lupe Faalele a Samoa Otago.

Society director John Eteuati said the purpose of the group, which included Samoan academics and administrators as well as representatives from various community agencies, was to “act as the hands and feet of the wider Samoan community”.

“We felt there was a need to better publicise events of interest to our Samoan community, and to promote the services that support our families.”

Following Samoan Language Week celebrations and the visit of Samoan Prime Minister Susuga Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi in June, the group identified there was also a need to promote Samoan language skills.

“We found from a study that most of our Samoan people who were fluent in their mother tongue and English were able to have success in several areas of their life.

“With most of our young ones, we’ve noticed that they lack confidence in both worlds, in both languages.”

Discussion on the radio show would be predominantly in Samoan, with sufficient English language content to provide context. Music by Samoan artists would further expose listeners to their mother tongue, a strategy that had proved particularly successful among younger people.

“Lupe Fetala’i will enhance our language and enhance our cultural values and traditions, but I guess the bottom line is to develop our young people to become more productive members of Dunedin society.

John said that feedback about the show had been positive.

“Listeners have told me they feel proud to have a programme in Samoan language. It makes them feel at home.”

Lupe Fetala’i is supported by Va’a o Tautai and airs Fridays from 6pm to 8pm at on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, with podcasts available from, Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts.

Photo: Proudly Samoan: John Eteuati is one of the hosts of Samoan language, music and culture show Lupe Fetala’i on OAR FM Dunedin.