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August 13, 2008 Permalink

The New King of Tonga

On August 1st, the Kingdom of Tonga crowned its newest ruler, King George Tupou V. In a ceremony that lasted for days, and cost over $2.5 million (US), the 60-year old King was crowned as one of the few remaining monarchs with true ruling power - but that is about to change. In 2006, pro-democracy riots shook the small island nation of 112,000. The coronation was postponed, and now King George pledges that "The Sovereign of the only Polynesian kingdom... is voluntarily surrendering his powers to meet the democratic aspirations of many of his people." He promised to cede most power to a prime minister, and to hold parliamentary elections in 2010. (14 photos total)

The King of Tonga George Tupou V, right, is crowned by His Grace the Archbishop Jabez Bryce in Nuku'aloka,Tonga, Friday, Aug. 1, 2008. The coronation, which included singing by a choir of more than 300, was the first in Tonga since 1967 when King George V's father, the late King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, ascended to the throne. (AP Photo/New Zealand Herald)
more photos
This page lists only comments and the first photo for the entry.
To see the entire entry, with all photographs, click here.


159 comments so far...
1.

should i feel ignorant for not knowing where this country is?
some of those pictures are hilarious!

Posted by eng+ August 13, 08 10:17 AM
2.

Very interesting photos! They really convey the population's attention to their king,

Posted by Jeff H August 13, 08 10:18 AM
3.

Great pictures, but as a vegetarian I wouldn't have minded a "click here to view it" link on the pigs photo. ;)

Posted by Arthur August 13, 08 10:22 AM
4.

It's good to be the King ... in Tonga ...

Posted by orangeguru August 13, 08 10:26 AM
5.

Everyone looks so hot and miserable in those photos (with the exeption of the people at the bonfire).

Posted by Lesley G. August 13, 08 10:28 AM
6.

It's good to be the king.

Posted by Eric August 13, 08 10:30 AM
7.

riding with the king

Posted by vanni August 13, 08 10:44 AM
8.

The Kingdom of Tonga (Tongan for "south") is an archipelago in the south Pacific Ocean comprising 169 islands, 36 of them inhabited, stretching over a distance of about 800 kilometres (500 miles) in a north-south line. The islands lie south of Samoa and are about one-third of the way from New Zealand to Hawaii.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonga

Posted by Daniel August 13, 08 10:44 AM
9.

Comment #3... are you serious. Do you request the meat/poultry deparment at the grocery store to be hidden behind closed curtains, too?
It's your choice to be a vegetarian, but please accept that people eat animals. You are the exception, not the majority... and majority rules!

Posted by me me me August 13, 08 10:57 AM
10.

Fascinating story and so interesting to catch a glimpse into a place that so few are even aware of!

Posted by Josh August 13, 08 11:04 AM
11.

I thought at first the people were a bit 'chunky'... Wikipedia reports that Tonga and nearby areas have the most obese people in the world... (about 70 % are obese.)

Posted by Jayson August 13, 08 11:13 AM
12.

me me me...

Calm down, dude. Did you miss the smiley at the end of Arthur's post?

Posted by Not me August 13, 08 11:50 AM
13.

Where's Eddie Murphy?

Posted by Alec Cani August 13, 08 12:07 PM
14.

I didn't know Tonga was a monarchy.
The only thing I know about Tonga is that they play rugby. Their national team is 13th of the International Rugby Board classification. And during the 2007 World Cup, they beat the US ;-)

Posted by Th frenchie August 13, 08 12:11 PM
15.

As a vegan, I don't care if they want to have pigs in the pics.

Face it you militant vegetarians and vegans. People eat meat. We don't. That does not mean we have to be a pain in the ass about it.

The picture with pages holding his long train offends my democratic sensibilities though.

Posted by Ericson August 13, 08 12:25 PM
16.

Unlike the previous post on the conflict in Georgia, I probably would have preferred this one to be more images from the Olympics. Maybe you're saving them up for one big, amazing post once they've closed?

Posted by LOSTlover August 13, 08 12:32 PM
17.

Who cares what you prefer?

Posted by Pete August 13, 08 01:36 PM
18.

"It's good to be the King..." :)))
Impressive photos.

Alex
http://www.recentnews.co.uk

Posted by Alex August 13, 08 01:46 PM
19.

Again, thank you. Great images.

http://www.photodunski.com

Posted by Steven August 13, 08 02:11 PM
20.

I visited Tonga in 1978...my daughter was in the Peace Corps. I was warmly welcomed and sent home at the end of the stay with two wall size tapa cloths that I treasure. Wonderful memories of these kind people.

Posted by Hulananni August 13, 08 02:13 PM
21.

The images are most striking to me in their portrayal of European influence on this island monarchy. Has Tonga had a king for thousands of years? Was the nation stapled together from a bunch of local chiefdoms in the colonial era and this chief's family was chosen to be the "King" following the British model? He's got the purple robe, the crown, the Rolls limo--it's to laugh when juxtaposed with woven grass garb and 100 sacrificed pigs. To me, there's much richer heritage -there- than there is in the goofy overhot military garb everyone's bedecked in.

Posted by Jeb August 13, 08 03:29 PM
22.

I was also struck by the number of obese people in these photographs. All of the men look so similar in that regard.

Posted by Anonymous August 13, 08 04:31 PM
23.

The Olympics have started?

Posted by I Need a TV August 13, 08 05:09 PM
24.

concur with #3 post 'click to view' would have been much thoughtfull

Posted by dp August 13, 08 05:46 PM
25.

Hey Frenchie, rugby? Who cares, let's talk some Olympic swimming, eh??? ;-)

Ah, we digress...


How's the surf in Tonga?

Posted by Zippy August 13, 08 06:17 PM
26.

Bad day for pigs.

Posted by Marilyn August 13, 08 06:24 PM
27.

Jayson, you may think that Tongans are chunky but they are amazingly athletic. I've never seen such gifted athletes as the Tongans and Somoans even when they look out of shape.

http://www.letutor.com

Posted by Spanish Class August 13, 08 06:44 PM
28.

Picture 5....Those are the biggest "children" I have ever seen.

Posted by Nards August 13, 08 09:04 PM
29.

This cerimony is the opitomy of of pompus self indulgance. $2.5m would have gone a long way to improving the day to day lives of many of Tonga's citizens loads of whom are unemployed and live below the poverty line. Nice photos mind you!

Viva la Repuplic!

Posted by Rhys August 13, 08 09:20 PM
30.

Tonga! Tonga! Toga! Toga!

Posted by Natman August 13, 08 09:22 PM
31.

Author is a tool.

Posted by Anonymous August 13, 08 09:25 PM
32.

Silly boys...

Posted by justcorbly August 13, 08 09:52 PM
33.

How does seeing a picture of a pig on a spit violate your eating habits, Arthur? Don't be such a bigot.

Posted by no August 13, 08 09:59 PM
34.

Wow dude, is that like a solid gold bench he is sitting on? Dang, that dudes livin large!

JT
www.FireMe.to/udi

Posted by Jim McDish August 13, 08 10:52 PM
35.

I believe the propensity towards obesity seen in many of the indigenous peoples of the South Pacific has to do with their genetics.and the increasingly global culture. Just as scores of colonial-era pacific islanders were killed off by common Western diseases for which their bodies had no immune response in centuries past, so now are their bodies similarly ill-equipped to ingest Western food products and dietary additives which have increasingly permeated their markets and everyday lives.

Posted by TampAGS August 13, 08 11:20 PM
36.

The people of Tonga are much better than other places in the world.

However they will be wondering how a religious leader like the one in Europe become a political leader as we saw in the pope and he affect the rest of the religious site by doing things that belong to political people. People leave politic to politic people.

Posted by mazee August 13, 08 11:38 PM
37.

I hope he enjoyed the pig meat.

Posted by yum pork August 14, 08 12:16 AM
38.

Some answers:

1. The surf isn't all that great - there are few real beaches. The scuba diving, however, is world class.

2. Tonga was a kingdom before the Europeans arrived. The have ancient burial sites for their kings in Pangai, Ha 'api (an island group in the middle of Tonga). Quite famous actually.

3. The Tongans may be obese today. However, it was not always so. It was the introduction of European food that has been their primary issue. However, the polynesians in general mastered the art of gorge and get fat for long sea voyages.

4. It's unfortunate that few people know much about the Tongans. The polynesians, and Tongans very much so from my perspective, are among the most loving and sharing people in the world. They are great.

Posted by Lance August 14, 08 12:37 AM
39.

Where is the Tongan Ninja when you need him?

Posted by Robovisual August 14, 08 01:01 AM
40.

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Look at all that future BACON!!!!!
Lucky!!!!

http://www.1plus0.com

Posted by James E. August 14, 08 02:10 AM
41.

@Ericson (#15)—Finally, someone said it. I'm neither a vegan nor a vegetarian and still, the vast amount of dead meat in the "pigs pic" was a bit disturbing to me, though. But people trying to convince me all day long, that my eating habits would be just plain wrong makes want to grab a nice porterhouse.

That aside—I love this blog. Every single issue is just simply stunning! Thanks for the effort.

Posted by trice22 August 14, 08 04:21 AM
42.

Pat Morita is the New King of Tonga? go Figure

Posted by JJM August 14, 08 05:25 AM
43.

Well, the pig picture was okay, but the one below it was offensive. As an electrician, I object to the glorification of fire that is used for illumination.

Posted by LouRob August 14, 08 07:13 AM
44.

i was in tonga when the king died in 2006 and it was quite interesting.

just about everyone dressed in black (and was going to do so for weeks even after i left), almost all restaurants and bars were closed on the island i was on (vava'u) for a few days, and when they reopened there were to play no music at all - just hymns - and the fronts of almost all businesses and restaurants were draped in black and purple.

when it came time for us to fly from vava'u to nuka'lofa to catch a plane back to new zealand we got a phone call the night before at about 11pm to tell us that we had gotten bumped from our flight and put on an earlier flight because anyone who was going for the funeral got priority on any mode of transportation.

and yes, tongans are some of the biggest (tallest) people i have ever been around in my whole entire life.

Posted by emma leigh August 14, 08 09:11 AM
45.

#38: You've apparently only been to Tongatapu. There are excellent beaches on Vava'u and especially the Ha'apai group. They are very hard to get to, granted.
#21: Yes, when I was there (Australian Volunteers Abroad) in 1990-91 I was struck at how some of those photos have absolutely zero evidence of Polynesia. In a nutshell (and working from memory), Taufa'ahau Tupou I was what was known as the Tui (King) Kanokupolu, a sort of Prime Minister to the second king (the Tui Ha'atakala'au) and first king (Tui Tonga). The missionaries arrived, brining their message of love from far off Europe. The Tui Kanokupolu saw his chance, converted to Christianity and was showered with muskets by God, then used them to overthrow the Tui Tonga and Tui Ha'atakala'au, slaughtering their followers in the process.
To keep the Europeans at bay, he created himself a King in the European mold, hence all the regalia. To keep the other Tongan chiefs at bay, he create 33 (from memory) nobles, which he awarded to these other big shots.
Tonga now is a very sad place. The current King is up to his eyeballs in corruption, as is most of the ruling class (the 'nobles).

Posted by George August 14, 08 09:18 AM
46.

I've been fortunate to have several Tongans on my rugby team. To a person they've been big, strong, and genial people. Most have played division I football for US colleges and a few made bowl appearances but you can see that rugby is their passion. If you ever have the opportunity to engage a Tongan national in conversation I highly recommend it. Their culture is very interesting and their customs (i.e. pig roasts) are to die for.

Posted by rugby-player August 14, 08 09:56 AM
47.

Togan are not fat.. they are genetically big people.. some famous togan you might know.. the rock has Togan blood, that guy from American Gladiator, my college roomate's niece is half Togan she's big and strong.. these people are not obese, they are strong people.

Posted by ncn August 14, 08 11:14 AM
48.

click here for the pigs, what a douche

Posted by Anonymous August 14, 08 11:18 AM
49.

As usual, the big picture delivers -- great photos.

Is it just me or is that some blinding cyan fringing / chromatic aberration in the first photo? (Window in the top left corner.)


Posted by Dan August 14, 08 11:25 AM
50.

These are beautiful pictures of Tonja.Thanks for sharing them.

Posted by Pat Hatch August 14, 08 11:32 AM
51.

"This cerimony is the opitomy of of pompus self indulgance. $2.5m would have gone a long way to improving the day to day lives of many of Tonga's citizens"

Hm... And how much did our candidates spend on their presidential campaigns? That's *real* waste. We could have used that money here in the U.S. for spelling classes for folks like yourself. :)

Posted by Andrew August 14, 08 11:41 AM
52.

Another fantastic set of pictures - particularly like the car - I think a Humber Pullman from the UK.

http://www.mattrutherford.com

Posted by MattR August 14, 08 11:53 AM
53.

Another excellent set of pictures, particularly like the HUmber Pullman (I think) - an old car from the UK.

http://www.mattrutherford.com

Posted by MattR August 14, 08 12:05 PM
54.

Dan, I think the window in the first pic is an out of focus stain glass window...

... and regarding the pigs... is it safe to assume most people think pictures of dead pigs and dead people are vastly different things? Both are mammals afterall...

Posted by Hadron August 14, 08 06:01 PM
55.

I think it's incredible the way they celebrate with such enthusiasm their country, their King, their heritage! I have a friend here in Seattle who is from Tonga and she flew back home just to be there for this Coronation. I think that's cool! :o)

Posted by Jo August 14, 08 08:53 PM
56.

My rugby coach was Tongan and his Pig Roast was a feast for all. A free feast for all, not to mention the obscene drinking (but that's more to do with the rugby). They can eat and drink like nothing I've ever seen, and as someone said, they are just built big, heavy, strong and generally good people. Of the 3 Tongans I know they all played Division 1 football and ended up going back to rugby. They may live below some arbitrary poverty line, but they also have natural resources they can live off of. If someone is a substinance farmer and fisherman they live below that line but eat better than most people you know.

Lesson: Meet a Tongan, and you'll know what they're about.

Also, I'm a meat-atarian. Could we please add links to all pictures with flowers and veggies, it makes me ill. . . . thanks.

Posted by nhb August 14, 08 08:55 PM
57.

You spelled "bachelor" wrong on pic 6

Posted by Jim August 14, 08 08:58 PM
58.

Thanks for the lovely pictures.

There is a saying: "You do not know Tonga if you have not visit the Country". So come and visit and find out more about the monarch, the people, the roast pork etc.

As you are aware: "What is applicable in one situation may not be relevant in another". So do not judge by the cover, come and see Tonga for yourself.

Posted by Julie August 14, 08 10:18 PM
59.

im very excied that we have a king in the island of TONGA again........TONGA is the most beautiful place ever!!!!!!! Thats my home town.........

Posted by Anonymous August 15, 08 12:46 AM
60.

You'd think with all that bling he would have paid the photog to photoshop him some whiter teeth. Looks like a great installation - old school.

Posted by Anonymous August 15, 08 02:49 AM
61.

Its quite sad, yet interesting, how they've superseded their own coronation traditions with those of Britain.

Posted by Gavin August 15, 08 09:02 AM
62.

where is tonga ?

Posted by butcher August 15, 08 05:24 PM
63.

At what point did the king break into 'Minnie the Moocher'?

Posted by ikes August 15, 08 06:15 PM
64.

Tongans were known to be the "Vikings of the South Seas". Captain James Cook also named the island group "The Friendly Islands". Tonga is where time begins, it receives the first sunrise of each day.

Malo

Posted by Toa Fotu Loi August 15, 08 06:45 PM
65.

#43 LouRob, that was a great comment. I almost choked on the pork chop I was eating. Maybe I should turn on a light.

Seriously, can we stop getting into vegetarian vs meat-eater fights. Try talking about the messages in the pictures or their composition.

Posted by Kurt K. August 15, 08 06:51 PM
66.

In November of 1967 and January of 1968, the first groups of US Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Tonga. They generally were to serve in agriculture, teaching science, sanitation and prenatal health care. Volunteers arrived haveing had about 10 weeks of training in Molikai Hawaii and with a working knowledge of the Tongan Language; spoken then by about 110,000 in the world. The Tongans welcomed Peace Corps Volunteers with great excitement and generosity. For white people to come and live in a village, speak their language, eat their food and support themselves on US$27 per month was considered a great honor and they loved the volunteers and loved America. In villages there was no electricity nor running water and all lived in thatched huts. They could not understand how we could have killed our president. Everyone know about JFK. The Vietnam war was raging and at least one volunteer was drafted and sent to Vietnam. The Peace Corps is still in Tonga making friends of Americans. I encourage those who know nothing of Tonga to learn about it. People find what they seek. Help us seek peace, not war: to consider straners potential friends, not potential enemies; to act out of thankfulness and generosity, not of fear and selfishness. We will find what we seek. People do not start wars, political leaders start wars. I have experience in war and in peace. Beleive me, war is not good. Please learn about the Tongan culture.( It is easy to do on the internet.) You will see so much more in these photos.

Posted by Vietnam Vet; Returned Peace Corps Volunteer August 15, 08 08:07 PM
67.

As a member of the gay civil liberty rights, I applaud the king of Tonga for turning his back on the Tongan culture and displaying the embodiement of the person that he really is.

Of course he never wanted to marry a woman! And since his countrymen would never accept same sex amrriages, he had no alternative but to remain a "Batchelor" as the press put it.

His conronation outfit was splendidly crafted, typical of the European Aristocracy of the 1700's. Obviously the man knows whats good and has the taste to prove it.

But since Tonga is a British colony (it must be, from looking at all the UK traditions adopted there) why hasn't the rest of the country also adpoted British tradition?

I mean look at those school children dancing around with hardly any clothes on...and wearing just grass skits ! Maybe it was a special request by the king as thats what their king likes....but I thought it was a bit out of place in amongst all the romp and pomp.

I thoroughly loved the old style military uniforms from the UK, now I know where they all went after the first world war! Tonga must have a museum full of British stuff. Probably true as I hear the king loves military uniforms and our old taxi cabs from London. I saw a pic of him in one, he looked so cute in it.

I'm sure now that he has been crowned, he will change the laws and introduce civil liberties for gays.

Posted by lucy August 15, 08 09:12 PM
68.

Thanks for the lovely pictures.
http://www.5778.com

Posted by yifan August 16, 08 12:33 AM
69.

The vegetables makes me ill.... please add link to them.

Cheers!

Great Blog!

Posted by Andres August 16, 08 08:27 AM
70.

A sad day for Tonga... HRH's grandmother will turning in her grave. He is so removed from the tongan people it's sad. The islands and the people have become just another one of his toys.

Posted by Uncle Fai August 16, 08 10:02 AM
71.

#67 Tonga was never colonize by any country. We were a monarch way before the European arrived in the South Pacific.

And I agree Tonga were built to be solid and strong not obese. Yes the introduction of European Food that causes this issue (obesity). So to know more about Tonga take a trip over there and you find out it is one of the amazing place in the world. Famous for it's white sandy beaches and it's friendly people.

Malo

Posted by anonymous August 17, 08 01:08 AM
72.

#71 Tonga not a British colony you say??
I beg to differ with you. Have a good look at your king, his lifestyle and the coronation. Its all British. Right down to your national anthem which is so similar to the Britsh national anthem which was written hundreds of years prior to the Tongan one. Golden Scepters, crowns, thrones and military uniforms. I swore that I was in the UK while watching it.

You are incorrect about Tonga having a monarchy before the "Europeans Arrived".

If you read post number #45 it gives a bit of history of Tonga, and how they were at war with each other until the eurpoeans arrived, gave them peace and then they copied the British Monarchy making them selves a king and a realm of nobles and then everyone else become commoners....just like England of olde times.

Before the misionaries, Tongans were not even a country, they were seperated into 3 seperate groups and wared against each other, they never had a king, a constitition, a government or a flag.

Now they are completely British, right down to their religion and 3 class system (Royality, Nobles and Commoners)...and the king endorses this by intergrating the British culture into his Tongan life as we saw during the coronation.

In fact, i read that Tonga has (apart from the English Language) 3 Tongan languages. One spoken by the Royals, one language spoken by the nobles and the rest of the people are the commoners, speak a lower class of language. If this is not the old Britsh system from the 1800's...I don't know what is!!

Is it true that one reason the king never married, was because he had to marry only Royal blood, and that meant he had to marry his own cousin?? Or is it true that the reason he never marrried is that he is gay? I have read and heard both stories.

Posted by lucy August 17, 08 03:15 AM
73.

god.... its so impressive how ignorant people can be... I address this to lucy at post #67...

Posted by Rafael August 17, 08 06:20 PM
74.

nice photo you have here.i want to see more

Posted by aliff August 17, 08 11:17 PM
75.

The King loves "Cuban" music. My husband just got back from the Kings Coronation in Tonga. He and his band " Tito y su son de Cuba" were invited to play Cuban music for the King"s after party!! He said the people were amazingly nice and so friendly. He did notice that the population in general was very young. The life expectency is only around 50 or 55 years (hope that's correct information) . By the way he said the pig was delish!!!

Posted by Bonnie August 18, 08 12:57 AM
76.

Not sure what aspect of post #67's comments you were referring to as “ignorant” but I have no doubt the new king is gay. He has openly embraced that lifestyle and for decades has defied attempts by his parents and countless others to “conform.” It will be interesting to see how many changes in the “civil liberties for gays” arena actually take place in the near future, given the fact that he . . . “is voluntarily surrendering his powers to meet the democratic aspirations of many of his people” and promised to “cede most power to a prime minister, and to hold parliamentary elections in 2010.” I can’t see the general Tongan population embracing it, but you never know. And just who is that prime minister he’s going to cede the power to? Does he get to appoint him? Hmmm. . . . this could really be interesting.

Having lived there in my youth, Tonga will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s true what other posters have said, Tongans are some of the most friendly, giving people in the world.

Posted by anonymous August 18, 08 05:42 AM
77.

seems like a joke,
is this for real?

Posted by Ulises August 18, 08 11:30 AM
78.

What part seems like a joke to you?

Posted by anonymous August 18, 08 05:06 PM
79.

I think the official term is former protectorate, not colony.

There obviously wasn't much value in the islands...that the english saw worth exploiting anyways.

The Former Queen and grandmother of the current ruler was grand broad. To some extent her son the former king was a non event. Now this clown is a complete joke. His reign sums up the phrase "smash and grab" like no other in the kingdoms brief history.

and why is it strange to see indigenous people performing a traditional dance????

Posted by Texas5areferal August 19, 08 05:53 AM
80.

God save the King!!!!

Posted by Viva España!!!!! August 19, 08 03:45 PM
81.

Gargantuesque...!

Posted by Renaud August 19, 08 07:38 PM
82.

the kind doest looks happy =(
why?

Posted by jose August 21, 08 01:50 PM
83.

My sister married a tongan fellow and lived in Tonga for over 30 years, I agree the Tongans are extremely friendly and welcoming people, but try not to idealise them too much. They are quite capable of the same ruthlessness and aggression as any other group of Homo sapiens. Their diet is extremely bad, with an pronounced affinity for the very fatty and salt laden canned beef and Spam products. They are indeed quite obese in general, with all the associated health problems(high blood pressure, rampant diabetes, etc., etc.). If you look at some very old pictures of Tongans, when they were still mainly eating their native diet, they appear quite trim and healthy. As for their general society, they are a male dominated society, with all land within a family handed down to the eldest son. As my sister discovered when she went through her divorce of her Tongan husband of 30 years, she was left with essentially nothing, the courts being stacked with male judges who definitely still observe these societal customs. Hopefully some of these more gender biased customs will dissapear with time. They are highly religious people, and attending their church services is a fun occasion, since they sing with unbridled enthusiasm and cheerfulness. Changing the subject, I was a vegan for part of my life due to health reasons, and I could never become accustomed to a kind of self righteousness that vegetarians in general have. Just remember that when you eat those nuts, your are eating a living fetus and harvesting a carrot destroys a living entity. Does the fact that the fruit or vegetable isn't soft and cuddly or can't audibly scream when it is killed make them easier to eat? Who are you to say that ending a plant's life is less cruel than ending an animal's life? Do you think you are a god that can determine which life force is valuable and which isn't? Get off yourselves and get back to reality and tolerance.

Posted by Victor August 24, 08 12:05 PM
84.

its nice to see da people ov tonga..but as a tongan girl..im not going to praise and worship the new king...for he has not done nefing for the people...of tonga bt use their money

Posted by meleseini havea August 25, 08 04:59 AM
85.

Heya malo o pito for the pics and story. I was very inspired and touched. My Tongan people are such a beautiful peoples and i can't wait to build on my land back home!!!.....ofa atu's 2 all my sisters and bro's. By the way , check out my page @ http://myspace.com/unitednationz315 . I am a very proud and prideful artist and Tongan. Alu a , eh!

Posted by TonganMohawkMan August 25, 08 04:08 PM
86.

After reading all the comments about Tonga and the King's coronation,yes everyone is entitle to his or her own opinion of Tonga as a country,the people,culture,food and traditions.But as a Tongan who was raised in Tonga and later moved abroad,I'M still proud of my country ,roots and heritage.Obviously we can't compare Tonga with New Zealand,Australia,US or Great Britain.TONGA is a small third world country with only a100,000+[population].with a doner drive economy.In the world today,even in the past every country leads by people[human]and human have weaknesses or[ [imperfect].How can one says to another''I'm better than you while we each of us have monkeys on our back that needed shaken off'.I love myTONGA'.[i HAVEN'T SEEN A HUMAN WALK ON WATER YET.]

Posted by jMES MAL August 26, 08 12:08 PM
87.

donde pollas esta tonga?

Posted by gumi August 27, 08 09:09 AM
88.

I am glad to read how other countries see my homeland.

Whatever you think or feel for us, we love you coz God create all of us and bless us with vast different talents.

Tonga has their sorrows, opportunities, challenges, etc..... as many of you faces in your own country which are differ in some ways to us. Please don't ask us to hate others for your sake. If you want us to hate you for your comments, do it in person and you will find out more than you could bargain for on earth.

God Bless us all.

'Ofa atu from The Kingdom of Tonga.

Posted by Sione Kaiheli August 28, 08 10:27 PM
89.

well, everyone have their say some are reasonable and some are out of order. first of all who cares what you all think, lots of things out there you should worried about(war,terrorist,hunger,poor etc}. at least people of tonga are happy and live in peace always plenty on their plates. those who against the pigs. pic.please is much better than the chickens in all those western countries they feeds them in 2 weeks then they ready to be kill and sell in the supermakets. those who says things about tonga and there culture, please...at least they have, what is yours? the king is not gay! he has children. he has his own personal reason for not married and everyone should respect that and stop spreading second hand rumours. well, we can't change the world but we can change ourselves we just have to look deep down and find the best in each of us, may be we see the world in a diff way. god bless you all. PEACE.

Posted by unknown. August 30, 08 08:43 PM
90.

who is the next heir to the throne?

Posted by Lia September 4, 08 04:45 AM
91.

helo the king looks hawtt

Posted by kofe September 4, 08 06:20 PM
92.

THE LARGEST PEOPLE KNOWN TO MAN KIND.....

Posted by ANONYMOUS September 4, 08 07:33 PM
93.

congradulation 2 da new king...
poor pigs........
fanx 4 da lovly pictures

Posted by satua Fa'apoi September 8, 08 03:38 AM
94.

malo and fanx 4 da picture's
long live da king...
yummy pigs....

Posted by 'Aisea Tongi September 8, 08 03:42 AM
95.

There should be a link on da Pigs as "Click here to eat it."

Lucky chap the king ...!

Posted by KIRAN September 11, 08 08:12 AM
96.

Malo e lelei to all my dear friends in Tonga!

The Kingdom of Tonga is well known as the friendly islands! They are up north New Zealand, near Fiji and the Solomon Islands, in Polinesia.

I wish a lot of peace and success to the king and the people of Tonga in that beautiful and friendly place. Your identity and your traditions must prevail in these times of change.

Much respect to you all.

Posted by DJ Davo from Venezuela September 12, 08 06:07 PM
97.

Kia Ora,and Malo e Lelei

I JUS WANA SAY HELLO TO EVERYONE IN TONGA.....KINGDOM OF TONGA IS ARE BEAUTIFUL AND FRIENDLY ISLANDS.......

LONG LIVE DAH KING OF ALL KING

ALL DAH PICYURE LOOKS HOTTTTTTTTT MAN


KINGDOM OF TONGA IS DAH BEST


Posted by ANONYMOUS September 14, 08 09:29 PM
98.

2.5 millions in a coronation? Well, i do realy like monarchy, but this is exaggeration.

Posted by Anna September 15, 08 04:43 AM
99.

RE: #72 as posted by lucy
Do you even know what the Taumafa Kava Ceremony is? That particular ceremony is the TRADITIONAL Tongan method of recognising their King. This ceremony was performed BEFORE the the church coronation ceremony. Perhaps you should do some further research before alleging that the King and the Tongan people abandoned all their own traditions. They also performed many traditional Tongan dances, played a commemorative rugby match and of course enacted the Taumafa Kava Ceremony.

Personally, I believe that the lavish palangi (British) ceremony was an attempt to showcase Tonga as being modern and Western, able to adapt while maintaining significant cultural ideas and traditions.

Posted by ina September 17, 08 09:13 PM
100.

The king of tonga isw cool.

Posted by vili September 18, 08 07:18 PM
101.

The king of tonga isw cool.

Posted by vili September 18, 08 07:18 PM
102.

I AM HIGHLY IMPRESSED BY THIS SMALL NATION. AND WHAT TO BE THE CTIZEN OF THIS GREAT COUNTRY.

Posted by ABAZER SIRAJ BIVIJI September 25, 08 12:13 AM
103.

MALO E LELEI, LONG LIVE THE KING OF TONGA. Kia moutolu Tonga ,Ofa ke mou mau ha katoanga fiefie,moha mo'uife'ofo'ofani 'i tongana From.Sione T Ofakineiafu

Posted by sione September 26, 08 05:05 PM
104.

I LUV TONGA !!!

Posted by Anonymous October 23, 08 05:58 PM
105.

To be honest Tonga is a country of great excellence. Many people strive to preserve their cultural traditions in tonga, and succed. I strongly believe that my cultural background and nationality has contributed to my development as a person individually, spiritually and socially.

Tonga is where my heart lies.
P.s. if you do not have any positive criticsm then your better off saying nothing at all!

Posted by Tongan Till Death October 23, 08 08:39 PM
106.

MESSAGE NO.102.MUST BE READ AS 'I WANT TO BE THE CITIZEN .SORRY FOR TYPING MISTAKE

Posted by ABAZER SIRAJ BIVIJI October 31, 08 03:14 PM
107.

Ok.

The King of Tonga has not been confirmed to be gay at all. HM the King does have an illegitimate daughter as highlighted in the below link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%27Ilima_Lei_Tohi

He cannot acknowledge her as his heir as in Tongan culture the mother carries th social ranking, and as her mother was a commoner she is nothing.

HM's heir is his younger brother.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%27Aho%27eitu_%27Unuaki%27otonga_Tuku%27aho

The throne used during the coronation was not solid gold, it was painted and was a gift from China. The $2.5 million dollars was not bad considering it covered a week of celebrations including hosting several foreign dignitaries and their entourages. There are way more excesses in Western Society that overshadow anything Tonga could do.

The Tongan royal family do use the British style of royalty to lend some esteem to their institution internationally. They still very much hold onto their tradional culture and traditions.

In regards to the 3 languages...it is not unusual for Pacific Island cultures to have tiered speaking abilities. Generally those of the ruling class with different education and knowledge have a higher language, those who speak publically in formal gatherings (speaking chiefs and priests - traditional not christian have a different style, and the every day language with it's idiosyncracies are used by the general populace.

Tonga will achieve reform to lessen the influence of it's ruling class. This however needs to be measured and actioned in an appropriate timeframe and should be driven from within.

Posted by Brett October 31, 08 06:41 PM
108.

Tonga Be Da Bomb!

Mate Ma'a Tonga!

Posted by Angela Fusitua November 12, 08 05:55 PM
109.

May the love of God.Watching over you days and night while you rulerling our smallest Island of the world.The lovely Tonga .Even we here in America but we never forget where we come from.May Gods keeps you under his care until we meet again. Lots lots of love .

Posted by Mary Tuf. November 23, 08 12:35 AM
110.

the archbishop looks a lot like James Earl Jones...

Posted by Tol November 23, 08 11:06 AM
111.

nice pictures, life 2short to behatin.

Posted by tominiko vaka November 30, 08 08:41 PM
112.

Some of the comments in this file are ridiculous! The present royal family were not "chosen" by the British, and the country was NOT a British colony.
The first "KING" won his position through a series of civil wars which raged from about 1820 to 1850. He bestowed two or three sets of laws, which culminated with the Constitution of 1875. The House of Taufa'ahau-Maeakafa (they are NOT the Tupou Dynasty) has reigned ever since. The name TUPOU means "King of Kings" and is not their family name. Also Tonga was never conquered and did not become a British Colony. Tonga was a British "Protected State" from 1900 to 1970.

Posted by Anonymous December 20, 08 01:59 PM
113.

Since the United States is going down the tubes and our new "king", or is it "messiah", is in the process of destroying our economy much worse than President Bush ever did, and is ushering in a new socialistic totalitarianism, I, along with countless other freedom-loving Americans, have been wondering where else in the world we could possibly go to find liberty and, if not prosperity, at least stability. Since Democracy has proven to be not so hot after all, I began to seriously wonder if maybe a monarchy would be better, IF the king ruled with kindness and justice (not acting like one of those Marxist African dictators) and otherwise basically left the people alone. It sounded like Tonga could possibly be a good dream, if their king were good and with the country being a South Pacific paradise, but now, unfortunately, I see this most recent king is giving in to pressure to make the country democratic. Bad news, in my view, because a "majority rules" system does NOT protect the rights of everybody, only of the majority.

Posted by Tom Osborne March 1, 09 03:36 PM
114.

Eversince the first king lifted the country into the mighty hand of God, Tonga has eversince been protected by God in every and many ways.Has been proven true in the past and will be in the future.If the King himself or his ministers has done wrong, God will pay them according to their deeds.But my part as a commoner is to take good care of my family, raise my children in the way worthy by teaching them good principles and values and working hard to earn a living.We sometimes are so caught up in other people's business and forgot about our own responsibilities to our loved ones.Worry about other people's business when you are done with yours.

Posted by Cecilia March 3, 09 03:51 AM
115.

Y dont u all mind ur own little world n leave my wonderful kingdom alone...???? We Tongans were born to serve a king n datz wat we are proud off...Neway ask urself y come to Tonga, Y waste ur energy to speak on something u knw nufing abt......Tonga is the most BEAUTIFUL AND PEACEFUL ISLAND IN THE WORLD. PLIIIIIIIIIIIIIIZZZZZZZZZ PEOPLE LEAVE US TONGANS BE....GO BAK TO UR RICH N UNSAFE COUNTRY N HIDE UNDER THE BED N LEAVE UR ALARM ON TO ALERT U FOR DA NON STOP BURGLARS N MURDERERS DAT WILL CUM AFTER U..LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!! PEA TUKU E FIE PALAGI E KAU TOGA NOFO MULI...

Posted by CERLYJO....PROUD TO BE A TONGAN March 18, 09 06:34 AM
116.

----->(88)

tongan lover..God Bless

Posted by fu'u sulu March 19, 09 08:48 PM
117.


Just my view on the TONGA!
There are lots of nice people in this world, I wish I could have met them. But if the Lord is kind- I'll meet a few more of them yet ,you see so many of them as you walk though ‘Otahuhu lol and you know that had you met them, Just how great it would have been. But there's one comfort you can take
s you pass on through life's gate, the fact that they are out there Is what makes this world so great! TONGA WATT!!


Posted by mr 'ofakineiafu March 24, 09 09:42 PM
118.

In 1989 my husband, a daughter, and myself, went with 14 others to visit Tonga. Specifically to research the effect of 150 years of Christianity there. We learned a great deal about the culture of the Tongans and met with the late King at one of his homes. We visited other islands and my husband was given a small island by a member of the royal family. (We could not tell where it is now as we saw it from a DeHaviland Otter aircraft.) Our hosts were lovely people and we were plied with much food while there. We agreed among us that there was, at that time, what appeared to be a society with well to do Tongans being better educated and perhaps more welcoming than those of lesser status. It was a tiered society.
Our visit was celebrated in the towns we visited and we were honored with many Kava ceremonies (our women were included, which we understood was not customary). Given the opportunity it would be great to return after 20 years to see Tonga now. We were given a special Tapa large enough to use as a bedspread for a Queen size bed, a prized possession. May Tonga live peacefully forever!
March 26, 2009 Rusty G

Posted by Ruthlyn G. Palmer March 26, 09 06:36 PM
119.

TONGA be da bomb do doubt poor living but GREAT HEARTS if yah got da heart yah dont need anything else neways one love lol from sydney australia

Posted by Rastafarian tongan March 26, 09 08:17 PM
120.

God has blessed our little island, We might not have alot of material things or money but that's what makes it great. The land and animals give us what we need to survive, We appreciate the little things that life offers us and we try not to complain. Ive come to America and seen the greed, the crime and things people do for money and its heartbreaking...if i needed something from a neighbor he would surely try to help me, if i needed a ride he would stop even with no room,if i was a stranger with no where to go,he would take me in.. if i was hungry he would surely feed me..Yes our government isnt perfect, we know that of course, because we live in it! Going through the history books, i belive no Government is Perfect!

think we know that? We live in it

Posted by Jade May 3, 09 02:27 PM
121.

I'm proud of who i am!!! Tonga is my place

Posted by Rihanna Kuli May 6, 09 05:26 PM
122.

These pictures are great,
however iam quite annoiyed at the people who are unable to appreciate them and much rather critisize them; because plenty of them dont even know where Tonga is, and how the tradition goes anyway!
if they have a problem with it, dont say anything at all.
Tonga is beautiful.

Posted by annonymous May 21, 09 12:11 AM
123.

All you haters alu o kaukau eh ! lmao ` .
Pea ha?
TONGA`S THE BOMB !!
THR0W It up !
MUCH LOVE FOR OUR KiNG ! :)

Posted by Lataii May 24, 09 09:54 PM
124.

We tongans are not obese, we're just STRONG!

Congratz to our new king Tupou V
and ofa atu kihe tau fonua !

Malo mei Ameilia

Ofa atu Tonga!!

Posted by ucme May 28, 09 12:53 PM
125.

the guy on the far right in photo #5 is hot ! lolss but yeahhh Tonga is such a beautiful place` cant argue with that. x .

Posted by Mss Bumskiess June 3, 09 01:29 AM
126.

how long when you born in tonga for so long your respondiliities that how did you get those pitures from your nukuolfa tonga when get those pitures from

from
andrew mujunen

Posted by andrew mujunen June 7, 09 09:03 PM
127.

tonga is the only independent entirely kingdom having only a constitutional monarchy in the pacific............this is the very and the only major royalty events in allover the pacific region by the king coronation.................long live da king and i'm proud of it.......and i'm proud to b a tongan all da beat and god bless

..........best regards.........LOLESIO KAKAU SAILOSI.....AUCKLAND INSTITUTE OF STUDY AUCKLAND NZ...2009-2010........OFA ATU

Posted by LOLESIO KAKAU SAILOSI June 11, 09 08:40 PM
128.

#72 is so wrong.tonga was not colonised but was a british protectoriate.even before they had 3 different monarchs for the 3 main island groupz in tonga.
easy with the wrong facts ok

Posted by john June 12, 09 06:20 AM
129.

No offfense but 2.5 million is alot of money to waste in just 5 days over something that is not important not even the least!!

The Question is... IS THAT THE BETTER JUDGEMENT OF THEIR KING?

Posted by Zheng July 14, 09 08:42 PM
130.

NO we have never been colonized by britian or any other nation. During world war 2 we were a british PROTECTORATE, but never were a colony of the UK or any other nation. If the king says that it's ok to be gay and does pass reforms, then we as the Tongan people will embrace it. The king is in his position for a reason, we will always be subordinate to him. We live on a diet of tinned corned beef and spam because it is the cheapest meat known, most Tongans can only afford to eat this. Tongans have always been obese, it is our society.

Posted by Patsy August 3, 09 11:16 AM
131.

It seems weird that tongans try to look like the British.

Posted by Andrew Meyer August 14, 09 03:10 AM
132.

When the crown prince of Japan, population 144 million, travels to tiny Tonga, population 120,000, to congratulate its King, that's amazing. Tonga is a third world country, but its people our first class all around. The Tongans I've met are hard working, honest and geniuine. They carry themselves in a very unique way. It's neither arrogant or self-righteous. They don't talk much, but when they do, its usually profound. I have yet to meet many Tongans who say things without thinking about it first. I guess its part of their culture.

Posted by Greg Madison August 20, 09 03:23 AM
133.

The Coronation- how much does any coronation cost? How much does any democratic party spend on celebrations etc.

Tonga 3rd world- this 3rd world country is the most qualified country in the Pacific (and that's including Australia), health including dentistry is free, peaceful country, every family has land (no mortages or rent, no shanty towns either), oh and as mentioned several times above, plenty of big healthy people.

King is gay- Why does it matter? Doesn't really explain all his MIStresses in his younger years though.

Tongans being overweight- Tongans are the biggest race in the world-its in the genes-Tongan babies have the heaviest birth weight. - Look up navigation and survivial of the fittest.By the way, Americans, Australians and other western nations are way up the top when it comes to obesity check your facts. I think we are so obsessed with being skinny in the west anyway.

Corrupt government... well hello, can you show me one that is not, don't be so naive.

As for being patriotic to the Monarchs well Tonga has a highly stratified and complex social system that includes honouring not only the Kings and nobles,but also elders, sisters, paternal aunts, first borns and the deceased- yes it's complicated but also very beautiful to witness especially when the honoured (minus the deceased of course) return the honour.

I don't think Tonga is doing too badly.


Posted by Empathy August 31, 09 08:57 AM
134.

#51 Andrew hit it right on the head, exactly why the Tongan people rioted.. This guy gave a crap about his country he wouldnt of spent 2.5 mill on this wanna be british coronation. Its all about the show. Tonga is broke as heck yet the king, and all of his supporters can somehow justify spending all that money for his coronation. Well what do you expect when a person has ultimate rule besides to god. For years little by little the Tongan people have been getting tired of this terrible systems ways. He was smart to relenquish most of his power before the people would of had to take it in their own hands and by then it would have not been pretty for the royal family. Anyone who says otherwise is either straight up ignorant or is being paid in one way or another by those who do not want change. (power elites)

Posted by Alittlebirdy September 29, 09 07:35 PM
135.

The Historical photo bearing some silent speaking for all. Who can understand he will be benifitted from it.
Go ahead!
Mahi Khan
Bangladesh

Posted by Mahi Khan October 12, 09 08:17 AM
136.

Long live the King and Tongan people! It's a beautiful country, with beautiful people and traditions.

Posted by AKricket October 14, 09 06:57 PM
137.

You know, it's uncanny reading all the different comments. The pros and cons about the beautiful island of Tonga. What's more disturbing is the lack of knowledge that some of these comments enhanced. Apparently, people draw conclusions from just looking at the pictures alone. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words (or more depending on how nervy the oberserver is). Tonga is a piece of heaven on earth. The people are loving and respectful. They look after relationships and they offer mutual helpfulness. These are four values cultivated deep within the Tongan people. As for the King's coronation, this has been a tradition from the first king of Tonga. The people offer these animals and crops as a token of their love and respect for the king. As poor as the people may seem, they are very friendly and are always willing to share whatever they have with anyone, even total strangers. I suggest that you learn about the culture and get to know the people rather than throwing stones at stuff you have no clue about. As far as bad Tongans, please look around and you will find bad people from all cultures and all walks of life. That's their personal choice that they made. As far as the king being gay, honey, just because you are one, doesn't mean everyone is, ok? A lot of these comments are ridiculous, and a lot of these spellings need corrections. Instead of worrying about Tonga and its problems, worry about your life and your spelling. Worry about the country you live in and the problems that occur every second around you. That's the real deal. As for the $2.5 million, hey, the king can afford it, so might as well go for it. He has his own hookups so he uses them when he needs them. But mind you all, the king of Tonga and his households are multi millionaires. They are not poor. So why don't we give peace a chance and let the king of Tonga rule in peace. If he's not a righteous leader, the Lord will deal with him. After all, venegeance is not ours. I believe in living in peace, so couldn't we all just get along?

Thank you very much.

A proud Tongan woman.

Posted by Island Diva October 18, 09 03:35 PM
138.

#72 i'm sure you r not that stupid. To be a colony of Britain Tonga has to be colonized. Tonga was never colonized so therefore it is not a colony of britain. Simple as that. There has always been a strong british influence because tonga is a protected state under britain but that is not a colony of england. Tongan people are ruled by tongans not foreigners. is that a little more clearer? and as for the king being gay i am disgusted with that. u should be ashamed of yourself also.

Posted by sicwidit October 20, 09 12:13 AM
139.

The atmosphere of the Tongan people is amazing, nothing you people say can change the true essence of it. Its not perfect, WE KNOW THAT! Colonized or not, why does it matter to you? The King?..i have little to say and little think of him

MATE MAA TONGA.

Posted by NAATI L.V October 26, 09 12:32 AM
140.

king being gay.. british influences.... what exactly are you trying to say? When you refer to "Tongans".... your speaking of a "Culture". Anyone who is fortunate enough to have "Culture" is blessed. Culture is often mixed up with such words as "race" because people try to identify and label by using their "Culture" as a synonym for Race... but in all actual, the word Race doesn't even exsist anymore in todays terminology. because, we all bleed the same color blood and all have the same ,generally, on the inside PHYSICALLY. So, get with it people... appreciate the different cultural influences we have on each other and embrace the good and learn from the bad to make this world a better place.

Posted by Utopia November 4, 09 02:43 AM
141.

dhahah dat was awsumm - so wonna go bac to tonga now lol!

Posted by Ping Pong November 9, 09 04:42 PM
142.

IM PROUD 2 BE A TONGAN. WERE THE MOST NICEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD. THATS WHY ME AND MY TONGAN PEOPLES ARE GOING STR8 TO HEAVEN. CUZ WE SHOW LUV WIT OUT EVEN TRYIN. ITS JUS IN OUR GOOD HUMBLE NATURE. GOD BLESS THE KINGDOM OF TONGA AND EVERYWHERE ELSE.

p.s. my biggest mistake was marrying a pa langi. sorry fam

Posted by vili'ami soane tui'nukuafe November 28, 09 11:00 PM
143.

Tonga is a land of histoy,tonga is the only country own by a monarchy till this day, and if we, Tongan people change that we just lost a big history of the world so think twice everyone. Do we want to change this vote no!!!!

Posted by Sekeni January 9, 10 09:49 PM
144.

King George V is a liberal, transformation leader and have a vision to take Tonga to the future. Some comments that I like to make are:

a. King George Taufa'ahau Tupou was Tu'i Kanokupolu who won the civil war and replaced the older Chiefly royal line.

b. George V is not gay, as a liberal he wanted to marry someone he loved but know that he will be disowned by his father. His younger brother did married for loved without King Tupou IV approval and he was disowned and all his right to he throne was revoked. He has girlfriend and he travel with some of them.

c. You have to spend money to make money!!! Tonga spend 2.5 million and the government announced that foreign income jump 19 million during the Coronation. Foreign Visitors from royal families of Thailand, Buthan, Japan and UK plus the leaders around the pacific islands, Tongan visitors from overseas and remittances send by Tongan from overseas for their families to do their clan and customery duties make that 19 millions.

d. Tonga was a tributary Kingdom where the Tu'i Tonga rule as god and king before european even arrived in the pacific but its capture in the tradition of neighbouring islands. After he established the other junior king to rule in his behalf, the civil wars broke out after Capt Cook visit 1777 when he name it the Friendly islands. This civil war ended with King George winning the war and established a constitutional monarchy 1875, and later become British protectorate state in 1900 which end in 1970.
King George Tupou V is guiding the political reform of Tonga to a parliamentary system closer to the British.

Posted by Tonga Mo'unga ki he Loto January 13, 10 04:32 PM
145.

excuse me no.72?
tonga wasn't a british colony.in fact,it was never colonised at all.it was under british protection during WWI and II.it was ended by the 4th king in 1970.and the coronation?it wasn't all british.explain the kava ceremony.

Posted by ano January 17, 10 10:02 PM
146.

The kava part of the ceremony may be 100% Tongan, but quite apart from the rest of the ceremony and clothing, it was interesting to see the King being transported on the day of his coronation in an immaculately kept British built 1950's Humber Pullman limousine...

Posted by Nickelmonkey January 21, 10 05:02 PM
147.

Malo e lelei.
As a Kiwi who has been to Tonga (only Tongatapu, unfortunately) I am rather dismayed by the open and arrogant display of utter ignorance displayed by many people posting comments here. I found Tongans to be open friendly people, but just as anywhere, no human alive on this planet is perfect and we are products of the cultures in which we grew up.

Tongan attitudes toward their Royal Family is quite similar to mine towards ours in that I wish to see our Queen maintain her position as the symbol and embodiment of her people. No politician can do that because he is in the mud and ruck of party politics. For that very reason, however, I think it will be a good thing if the King can get out of that arena and leave the wheeling and dealing to professional rabble-rousers...er, politicians.

As for 2.5 million dollars spent on the coronation, that may seem a lot to an individual (it is), but for even a small nation celebrating the change of its Head of State, spread over five days and if it brought 19 million into the country, then it was a prudent investment of what amounts to pocket change. Hollywood starlets have spent more than that on a shopping spree for their selfish selves!

Tongans are big people. Polynesians in general are pretty big. The Tongan and Hawai'ian aristocracy actually bred for size. If you do that for a few hundred years, you get really big people. In Hawai'i that has been mostly obscured by intermarriage with people from groups of smaller stature. King Kamehameha I of Hawai'i was 6ft 7in and could juggle cannon balls. When I was at High School in Samoa, I was 6ft and 200 pounds at 17 and I was the little guy on the rugby team! The first Tongan I met was a policeman seconded to the New Zealand Police for a while. He was the same height as King Kamehameha I of Hawai'i and probably just as strong. When I shook hands with him, my hand vanished in his.

British protectorate over Tonga was simply to stop anyone else from attempting to colonise Tonga and was a bit paternalistic on Britain's part, but it worked. It also gave them some trading advantages, good relations with the Tongans and was a lot cheaper than having to run Tonga themselves. The Tongans admired many British things - a little cultural imperialism can go a long way. After all, look at all the American cultural influences in so many places in the world that haven't been colonised by the USA.

Ofa atu Tonga.

Posted by Carey Taylor-Forbes February 17, 10 01:58 AM
148.

Very good photo but it is too much about high people how about the people who do the work, example millitary all photo are about officers but we want to see lower rank or people who deserve to be on the photo

Posted by Omak February 21, 10 07:57 PM
149.

Wow its the real royal pageant!Long live the King Tupou!He is presently in Bhutan as our royal guest.Cheer up the people of Tonga!!! :))

phurba tenzin
thimphu
Bhutan,14/05/2010

Posted by phurba tenzin May 14, 10 10:35 AM
150.

hi every one my name is sio siua wesley ngaue i was takin from my parents when i was about 1 year old so i dont really have any memory of them i grew up in the foster homes and group homes and sad to say i lived on the street at a sertain point of my life when i was about 18 i was intensly concerend about who i am so i lokked for my parents after countless time i was up late it was about 2 in the morning when i fond a number it happened to be my dad i i cant really get the story straight but it was rumored that the king and queen of tonga were his parents i just wanna get to the bottom of things so if there is someone out there who can help please email me @ joshuangaue@aol.com please i dont know wat to believe

Posted by sio siua wesley ngaue May 28, 10 05:45 PM
151.

Josh, just go to the Kingdom and find them. or Try asking your dad when he is not drunk. He'll tell you the truth.

Posted by Jack September 7, 10 07:45 AM
152.

May God be with the King of Tonga, Grant him peace, properity, sound mind, and political tolerance to rule his realm.
-From American Samoa...

Posted by Anonymous October 13, 10 09:08 PM
153.

LONG LIVE THE KING!!!

MAY HIS PROUD NATION CONTINUE TO EXCEL OVER THE YEARS AND STRIVE FOR A BETTER LIFESTYLE

- God Bless -

Posted by Incognito Majestic November 20, 10 02:36 AM
154.

I think Tonga sounds like a nice place to spend the winter. Maybe even drop by for a cup of tea with the King.
God Bless the people of Tonga.

Posted by Stephen Cripps November 26, 10 10:30 PM
155.

good thing im tonga

Posted by polutele maka November 30, 10 04:51 PM
156.

From A Fijian/Tongan in Australia,
Long Live the King!

Posted by Steeno Narthungilevu January 5, 11 07:52 AM
157.

interesting (:

Posted by keila ashley February 10, 11 06:07 PM
158.

wuuuhaaa ;D

Posted by Anonymous March 16, 11 09:49 AM
159.

I had the pleasure of going to college with the now king of tonga,we his friends affectionately new him as George.I was a close friend of the king for some time,he was a really cool guy In those days,only person at college who smoked pall mall cigs non filtered,very upper class!
Some years ago my parents were on a cruise & one of the stops was Tonga,the ship's purser contacted the office at the royal palace & his royal highness invited them for tea,the talk of the ship,they had a wonderful time
it is approx 44 years since we last met & i hope he is able to see this message & maybe his London embassy might be able to arrange a meeting for me!

Posted by Lawrence davis April 24, 11 05:41 AM
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