Monday, June 27, 2022

History Of Tonga

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Around 1500–1000 BCE, an Austronesian-speaking population associated with the Lapita cultural complex arrived and settled in Tonga. Scholars have long disputed the precise dates of Tonga’s first colonization, but it is now believed that the first inhabitants arrived in the oldest town, Nukuleka, about 826 BCE, or 8 years. Because of the absence of a writing system, nothing is known prior to European contact, although oral history has persisted and been documented after the advent of the Europeans.

Tongans and the Tui Tonga, the Tongan supreme chief, had a reputation throughout the central Pacific by the 12th century, from Niue, Samoa, Rotuma, Wallis & Futuna, New Caledonia, to Tikopia, prompting some historians to talk of a Tui Tonga Empire. Civil conflict occurred in the 15th and 17th centuries.

The Tongans first saw Europeans in 1616, when the Dutch ship Eendracht, commanded by Willem Schouten, paid a brief visit to trade. Other Dutch explorers followed, notably Jacob Le Maire (who explored the northern island of Niuatoputapu) and Abel Tasman (who visited Tongatapu and Haapai in 1643). Later notable European visits included the Royal Navy’s James Cook in 1773, 1774, and 1777; the Spanish Navy’s Alessandro Malaspina in 1793; the first London missionaries in 1797; and the Wesleyan Methodist Reverend Walter Lawry in 1822.

Tufahau, an ambitious young warrior, strategist, and orator, unified Tonga into a monarchy in 1845. He had the main title of Tui Kanokupolu, but was baptized in 1831 as Siaosi (“George”) by Methodist missionaries. With the assistance of missionary Shirley Waldemar Baker, he proclaimed Tonga a constitutional monarchy in 1875, officially adopted the western royal style, liberated the “serfs,” established a code of law, land tenure, and freedom of the press, and restricted the chiefs’ authority.

On 18 May 1900, when European immigrants and competing Tongan chiefs attempted to depose the second monarch, Tonga became a protected state under a Treaty of Friendship with Britain. According to the treaty, the highest permanent representation on Tonga was a British Consul (1901–1970). Tonga retained its sovereignty under British protection, and remained the only Pacific country to preserve its monarchical system (unlike Tahiti and Hawaii). Tongan monarchy is based on an unbroken line of hereditary monarchs from the same family.

The 1918 flu pandemic killed 1,800 Tongans, accounting for around 8% of the population.

The Treaty of Friendship and Tonga’s protective status expired in 1970, as a result of agreements made before to Queen Salote Tupou III’s death in 1965. Tonga joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970 (unusual for a nation with its own monarch rather than the United Kingdom’s, as Malaysia, Lesotho, and Swaziland do), and the United Nations in September 1999. Despite colonial pressures, Tonga has always governed independently, making it unique in the Pacific.

The British Government closed the British High Commission in Nukualofa in March 2006 as part of cost-cutting measures throughout the British Foreign Service, shifting representation of British interests to the High Commissioner in Fiji. Paul Nessling was the last resident British High Commissioner.

How To Travel To Tonga

By plane Fua'amotu Airport (TBU) is located on Tongatapu, about 30 minutes from Nuku'alofa. Air New Zealand operates flights from Auckland five or six times each week, except Sundays.Virgin Australia operates twice-weekly flights between Sydney and Auckland.You may also fly into Fiji (Nadi and Suva) with Fiji Airways, which has flights...

How To Travel Around Tonga

To get across island groupings, you must essentially fly (or sail). Renting motorcycles, scooters, and bicycles is possible on Tongatapu, Vava'u, and Ha'apai. You may rent a vehicle on Tongatapu. Taxis are also available. Tongatapu, Teta Excursions, and Toni's Guest House provide day tours of all the major tourist attractions...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Tonga

Citizens of any Schengen nation (including the Faroe Islands and Greenland) are free from visa requirements for stays of 90 days or less during a 180-day period. Citizens of the following countries are eligible for a free one-month visitor's visa if they can show they have a return ticket to...

Destinations in Tonga

Regions in Tonga The nation is split into four regions or island groupings. Tongatapuhome of the capital, Nuku'alofa. 'Euaa pristine island southeast of Tongatapu Vava'ua well-known yachting location Ha'apaithe most sparsely populated group NiuasThe "Niuas" are three isolated islands to the north of Tonga: Niuafo'ou, Niuatoputapu, and Tafahi.

Things To See in Tonga

Tongatapu. Tongatapu is Tonga's biggest island, home to more than two-thirds of the country's population. It is bordered by coral reefs and is a coral island. Despite the difficulties of a few years ago, the capital, Nuku'alofa, on the north coast, has a calm vibe. There are several fascinating sites...

Things To Do in Tonga

Apart from a few historical monuments in Tongatapu, the majority of Tonga's activities reflect the island's environment. Divers, snorkelers, anglers, boat excursions, kayakers, and kite surfers may all be found. If you simply want to relax, there are several beautiful beaches nearby. Tonga has several excellent restaurants, and this...

Food & Drinks in Tonga

Tongan feasts are an absolute necessity. On Tongatapu and Vava'u, tour firms and hotels arrange feasts with traditional dance on many nights of the week. Tonga is active late into the evening, turning abruptly quite quiet about 11 p.m. Expect to see folks out and about until late at night....

Money & Shopping in Tonga

The Tongan dollar, or pa'anga, is the national currency. Denominations include 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 seniti coins, as well as 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 pa'anga banknotes. Despite its status as a developing nation, Tonga's costs are similar to or somewhat higher than those...

Festivals & Holidays in Tonga

Public Holidays Some Tongan holidays are Christian-based, such as Easter with its previous Friday and following Monday, and both Christmas days (but not Pentecost, Ascuncion, etc.). Tonga also observes New Year's Day (January 1) and Anzac Day (April 25). Emancipation day on June 4, Crownprince's birthday on July 12, the...

Internet & Communications in Tonga

Tonga's telecommunications are handled by two companies: Digicel Tonga and Tonga Communications Corporation. The latter operates a GSM network at 900 MHz. WiFi hotspots are the most common way for individuals in Tonga to access to the Internet, and you can anticipate poor connection speeds, usage limitations, and expensive costs....

Traditions & Customs in Tonga

Keep your knees covered for maximum respect (both men and women). Keep your shirt on everywhere except the beach. Topless guys from cruise ships have been caught and detained until the ship has departed! This is a highly religiously strict Christian nation. Remember that Sunday is highly respected; the...

Culture Of Tonga

Tonga has been inhabited by humans for over 3,000 years, dating back to late Lapita periods. Tongans had regular communication with their closest maritime neighbors, Fiji and Niue, prior to the advent of European explorers in the late 17th and early 18th century. With the advent of Western merchants...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Tonga

When going for a swim, keep in mind that there are numerous sharp corals along the shore, particularly at Tongatapu and PangaiMotu. While in the water, it is a good idea to wear an inexpensive pair of sandals. There are jelly fish that sting! They are also difficult to...

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