The School of Languages and Cultures collaborates with Toitoi journal

The School of Languages and Cultures has coordinated an expert team to produce two multilingual issues of the journal Toitoi, showcasing stories, poems and art about Latin America and Southeast Asia for the Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence (CAPEs).

Two new special issues of Toitoi: A Journal for Young Writers and Artists, showcase stories, poems and art about the vibrant cultures of Latin America and Southeast Asia. Free copies of the journals will be sent to every public library and school in New Zealand in February 2020.

Young New Zealanders aged 5-14 years submitted 408 stories, poems and artworks about real or imagined connections to a language, place, culture or event from Latin America or Southeast Asia. 117 students had their work chosen for publication in the journals.
Page from Toitoi journal titled Adventure at Angkor.
The School of Languages and Cultures at Victoria University of Wellington coordinated a team of experts who translated all of the written pieces into the languages of the regions, creating multilingual publications in English and 14 other languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Bahasa Indonesian, Balinese, Burmese, Khmer, Lao, Malay, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, te reo Māori, Tetum and Vietnamese.
Toitoi journal artwork with article in Malay.
The journals were commissioned by the Latin America Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence and the Southeast Asia Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence (CAPEs), in partnership with Toitoi Media and the School of Languages and Cultures at Victoria University of Wellington.
Page from Toitoi journal showing Spanish article titled 'Memories' with painting of sloth.
Director of the Latin America CAPE, Matthew O’Meagher, says, “We commissioned the Latin American journal to inspire school children to connect with and gain understanding and knowledge of the countries of Latin America.  We want them to celebrate the regions’ cultural and linguistic diversity. They created incredible stories and art around complex themes such as mixed intercultural identities and memories of other cultures and landscapes.”

The journals are part of the CAPEs’ schools programme, which aims to positively impact the education of New Zealand students by helping both teachers and students gain global competence with a specific focus on the Asia-Pacific region.

“We have a range of other education programmes, including training workshops, a website with curated tools and resources on the region, and international mobility programmes for students and teachers,” says Director of the Southeast Asia CAPE, Siah Ang Hwee. “These programmes are collectively helping to build a workforce that is engaged with and knowledgeable of our important Asia-Pacific neighbours.”
Toitoi special issues focused on Southeast Asia and Latin America.
The National Library of New Zealand, Services to Schools, has also assisted with this initiative by hosting teacher workshops and providing free access to books about Latin America and Southeast Asia to inspire young writers and artists to make a creative submission. They have also provided resources for teachers to maximise their use of the journals.

Toitoi is a quarterly journal that celebrates the creative spirit of young New Zealanders. It publishes material with an original and authentic voice that other young people can connect to and be inspired by and that reflects the cultures and experiences of life in New Zealand.