Monday, June 11, 2012

Tuku Fonua

This is a video about the giving of Tonga to God from King George Tupou I. Fonua is a word that means land but also the connection of the people of Tonga to its land.

One of the things we as an NGO are always looking for is a way to better reconnect people to their land, environment and this has brought me to watch this video. In this video and how it is told, the connection between the people and their and is apparent, however over the generations and economic challenges this has been lost.

His reasons for giving the land to God was to protect it from colonisation by Britain, New Zealand, Australia and other countries. However the religion that is here in Tonga follows that which the missionaries brought here years before King Tupou I.

Tonga is one of the most religious countries I have worked in, and I always wondered why? This video gives a better description of the history than the answers I have received here. I personally do not come from a religious family and have sometimes struggled with the depth of others religions. This act by King Tupou I shows that when he gave the land to God he wanted it to be for the benefit of his people, animals, ocean and all that existed here and to be looked after and protected. The end speech by the Matapule or "talking chief" is something that shows the older ways, and though new ways are needed there is also a need to retain old traditions to continue the strength of people.

Tonga should be proud that they were never colonised but they also need to protect and be proud of their land and environment.

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