'Welcome' in 40 ways! | ELPNZ

'Welcome' in 40 ways!

04 February 2013

You’re welcome to dream, Aotearoans

What’s your dream for Kiwiland? 

Whatever it is, it’s the answer to this year’s Race Relations Day theme: “Our dream for Aotearoa”.
 
Ours is: “Everyone feels welcome here – no matter what language they speak”.
 
English and Maori are certainly not the only languages in which Kiwis welcome newcomers. 
 
The number of everyday languages we speak is growing fast. The 2006 Census identified New Zealanders as increasingly multilingual. A reported 671,658 people can speak two or more languages: an increase of 19.5 % on the 2001 Census. With a gap of seven years since the last census, no doubt the 2013 Census will reveal more fascinating information about our increasing diversity. 
 
To celebrate both Race Relations Day (21 March) and International Mother Language Day (21 February), we created “Aotearoa, You’re welcome in any language.” The poster welcomes people in 40 languages, and there's a space to write in any missing languages. 
 
So, next time you meet a new Kiwi, welcome them in their own language. Give it a go!