Meet Pacific nursing student, Niuhenova Apinelu

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Talofa! To celebrate Tuvalu Language Week, hear from pacific nursing student Niuhenova. He talks about the Tuvalu culture and his experience studying the Bachelor of Nursing Pacific. 

What village are you from in Tuvalu?

Formerly known as the Ellice Islands, Tuvalu is a tiny pacific nation made up of nine scattered, low-lying islands and atolls in the South Pacific. Out of the nine beautiful atolls, I'm from the small reef island called Nanumaga.


Do you have a favourite tradition that is practised in Tuvaluan culture?

One of my favourite traditions that is practised in Tuvalu culture, is the Fatele. The Fatele is a traditional dance song of Tuvalu. Fatele is not only about dancing and singing, it is about storytelling and tells a story of our ancestors, our values and our beliefs. 


How do you sustain the Tuvaluan language at home or in the community?

I was born and raised in Tuvalu, so I understand and speak fluently, but I try my best to teach my youngest siblings who grew up here in Aotearoa who doesn't understand or know the Tuvaluan language, by speaking to them in Tuvalu and translating words they don't understand.


What drove you to study Bachelor of Nursing Pacific?

As a child I always wanted to become a nurse, despite it being seen as a predominantly female profession. Although I was steered towards medicine, I love helping others and nursing allows me to work towards improving health outcomes for Pacific peoples and the wider Aotearoa New Zealand community.

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