Located years. In 1616 Dutch navigators, Wilhelm

 

Located in the
Southwestern Pacific Ocean is the profound sovereign country of Tonga. Also
known as the Friendly Islands and known officially as the Kingdom of Tonga, this
archipelago consists of more than 170 islands that are divided into three
groups. The south islands are called Tongatapu while the center islands are
called Ha?apai and the north islands are known as Vava?u.  Like many other places, Tonga has its history
and culture, political and social issues, and their own literature that was
produced based on their people’s past and values.

The people of
Tonga are led by four values. According to the website The Kingdom of Tonga Today, the four values are:
“Fefaka’apa’apa’aki (mutual respect), Feveitokai’aki (sharing, cooperating and
fulfilment of mutual obligations), Lototoo (humility and generosity), and Tauhi
vaha’a (loyalty and commitment).” These values have been practiced by their
people for many years just like many other things that they continue to
perpetuate. The Kingdom of Tonga also states
that, “Today, many Tongans still live in villages, especially in the outer
islands, and traditional village life has not changed greatly from earlier
days.” Not only do they preserve the same living style, Tongans continue to do
traditional practices. As stated on the Eua Island Tonga website, “Luckily, the
Tongan culture is still very much in tacked and you will see people wearing
woven mats, making Tapa cloth cooking in the ground and roasting pigs on the
spilt.”

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

The Tongan people keep their culture
alive in many different ways, allowing them to be one of the very few
monarchies remaining in the Pacific. Becoming a sovereign kingdom wasn’t as easy
as it may seem and took many years.

            In
1616 Dutch navigators, Wilhelm Schouten and Jacob LeMaire discovered the
northern most islands of Tonga, the Niuas. The Dutch continued to explore the
Tongan archipelago in 1643.  In 1773 and
1777, Captain James Cook visited the southern islands and began charting the
Tongan archipelago. He was pleased with the hospitality of their people and
called them the Friendly Isles. Little did he know, the Tongan people were
planning on raiding his boats, killing him, and killing his crew. According to
“The Kingdom of Tonga Today,” “The northern island group Vava’u was discovered
in 1781 by Spanish navigator, Don Francisco Antonio Mourelle, commander of the
ship La Princesa” (Kingdom of Tonga). After claiming the islands in the name of
Spain, tension continues to grow between Europeans and Tongans. Eventually
Mourelles crew was killed except for a young boy, William Mariner. This young
boy learned the Tongan language and lived a Tongan life, and later wrote a
book. According to “The Kingdom of Tonga Today,” “Mariners book ‘An Account of
the Natives of the Tongan Islands’ is now recognized as a significant insight
into early Tongan life, customs and culture” (Kingdom of Tonga). With the
arrival of European explorers also came a quick pace of changes and the
teachings of Christianity, which is still part of the Kingdom today.

            Tonga
is a sovereign country currently ruled by King Tupou VI. According to the
artice “Tonga” written by Latukefu, Sione, and Sophie Foster,
“Between 1799 and 1852 Tonga went through a period of war and disorder.
This was finally ended by Taufa’ahau, who was converted to Christianity in 1831
by the Methodist missionaries” (Britannica). In 1845, he took the title King
George Tupou I. According to Latukefu, Sione, and Sophie
Foster, “During the king’s long reign (1845–93), Tonga
became a unified and independent country with a modern constitution (1875),
legal code, and administrative structure. With Taufa?ahau as its most important
convert, Christianity spread rapidly” (Britannica). Tonga was recognized
for its independence by Germany in 1876, Great Britain in 1879, and the United
States in 1888. As stated by Latukefu, Sione, and Sophie
Foster, “George
I was succeeded by his great-grandson George
II, who died in 1918. During his reign the kingdom became a British protectorate (1900) to
discourage German advances” (Britannica).

            Although
Tonga has a thriving kingdom, they face political and social issues like many
other places. According to Latukefu, Sione, and Sophie Foster:

“In 1970 Tonga
regained full control of domestic and foreign affairs and became a fully
independent nation with the Commonwealth. A pro-democracy movement took shape
in the late 20th century, and, from the 1990s, reform advocates won
significant representation in the legislature. The government, however,
resisted change. Pro-democracy leaders, including ‘Akilisi Pohiva, a member of
the legislature, were occasionally arrested and imprisoned” (Britannica).

From 1983 to 1991, the government
sold about 6,600 passports to foreign nationals resulting in a $30 million
profit. By 2001, the money had lost all of its value due risky investments
including a lawsuit against Bogdanoff in U.S. courts. (MORE INFORMATION TO BE ADDED)

            Happening
now is the review of Tonga’s human rights record. According to Tonga’s Leading
News Website,

“Tonga, which has
dropped over ten places in the World Press Freedom Index over the last year,
has not met UN reporting obligations for some core human rights treaties, or
cooperated with international human rights mechanisms, according to the Joint
Submission of the UN Country Team for Tonga for the UN compilation” (Matangi
Tonga).

This article also states, “Surprisingly,
the submission asserts that: ‘Various studies have revealed that nearly
one-third (30%) of women under 25 years currently suffer from an STI sexually transmitted
infection'” (Matangi Tonga). This shows readers that women’s rights and health
is under watch by their government. The Tongan people are not only concerned
for their women, but all of  their
people. According
to “Matangi Tonga Online,”

“Other
human rights issues to be considered are corporal punishment in prisons;
juvenile defence in the courts; creating an environment for civil society
inputs into development of public policy; access to healthcare, including
sexual and reproductive health; maternal morbidity; sexual violence; the rights
of persons with disabilities; and to encourage more open, respectful and
inclusive communities for LGBTI persons”
(Matangi Tonga).

Tonga has their political and
social issues but they are being confronted for the betterment of their people.
Another part of their culture includes their literature and authors.

            Like
many other cultures, Tonga has pieces of literature that bring forward their
culture, traditions, and royal lineage. One of Tonga’s authors is Elizabeth
Wood- Ellem. She knew the royal family’s lineage and wrote and edited books
speaking of the islands. As stated by The Sydney Morning Herald, “In
1974 she began research on Tongan history, concentrating on the life and times
of the revered Queen Salote.” After all of the research and studying,