Many Tongans migrate from their native countries to the United States for different reasons. However, the most popular reasons include relaxed migration policies for Tongans, to get better opportunities regarding employment and investments and out of missionary influence (“Tonga,” 2012,). However, this practice is changing in recent times as the U.S strives to control the number of immigrants in the country. I only thought people migrate to the U.S to further their studies and for opportunities but my assumption has changed.
The quote means that moving from Tonga to other countries in search of greener pastures given the economic conditions in the country is the dream of every Tongan citizen. Tongans have a culture of giving gifts which they often refer to kavenga meaning burden. Therefore, to be in a position to afford these gifts, they have to work in what they perceive as greener pastures.
One of the changing traditions of Tonga people is the holding of Tau fakalokua which is an evening party where farmers and fishers would meet in the evening to discuss the achievements of the day over a drink. However, with the increasing change in the money economy, cash cropping and commercial fishing this tradition are slowly fading away as there is less time for informal meetings (“Tonga,” n.d.). One of the American traditions that are slowly changing is the practice of eating fast food and taking too much alcohol during holidays. With the increasing awareness of obesity, the drinking and eating habits are slowly changing with time.
The most surprising lesson from the book is the fact that Tonga’s economy entirely depends on non-monetary sector and remittances from immigrants especially from the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.
What is the significance of kavenga to the people of Tonga?
Tonga. (2012). Connecting with Emigrants. doi:10.1787/9789264177949-22-en
Tonga. (n.d.). Encyclopedia of World Poverty. doi:10.4135/9781412939607.n694