Erik Lindgren/Pia Hultgren
Sun 5 Jun 2016 03:53
Malo e lelei!
James Cook stepped ashore Tonga in 1773 and named the archipelago
“The friendly islands”
The people seems to live according to that still today!
The Kingdom of Tonga is situated in the heart of The South Pacific and it is the only Pacific nation never brought under foreign rule.
Most Tongans grow their own food, build their own homes and make their own woven clothes.
Tongans wear skirt –both men and women. Nice in the warm climate. But over the skirt they sometimes have a distinct mat, called Ta’ovala (= waist-mats).
This traditional garment is made of woven natural fibre and is not found anywhere else in the Polynesia. In Tongan society the waist-mat is equivalent to a coat and tie. Wearing a Ta’ovala reflects a sign of respect to God, King and Country!
Tonga seems to me be more about its people than to its history or its socioeconomics. The Tongans we have met are welcoming, relaxed and generally happy. On my morning-jog’s I try to come a little closer and catch some photos from the children gathering at school or from the little supermarket where you shop from the desk. Everywhere they are just happy and understanding. And I feel I really meet the people. They are not in a telephone call or in another way caught by a mobile phone. The Tongans are present!
I read that the Tongan society is guided by four core values –which probably is the ground of the genuine welcome and happy people we meet.
The four core values are:
- Fefaka’apa’apa’aki = Mutual respect
- Feveitokai’aki = Sharing, cooperating and fulfilment of mutual obligations
- Lototoo = Humility and generosity
- Tauhi vaha’a = Loyalty and commitment
Let’s get out and meet them!
Pia & Erik