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The critic contradicts herself

Salt Lake City,USA

Editor,

Ms. Mele Payne Lynch certainly can judge Tonga…’s …“Lavish display of delicious waste………” against her distaste to see so many slaughtered hogs going to waste. It shows me how ignorant she is on Tongan traditions, however.

Funny thing, she feels more protective of pigs and the preservation of the…  environment but she abhors Tongans who take pleasure in preserving what…’s left of our culture and traditions. Please Ms. Lynch, as uncivilized as they may seem to you, they are the only link we have to our history and what is Tongan.

We are sorry that Tonga is no longer the …“Paradise…” for you and other visitors to enjoy. However, the ruins you…’ve rightly described are not Tongan by tradition. Westerners like yourself have been arriving at our shores since 1616 and have since lectured us on how not to be Tongans …— and to be like Europeans.

I…’m glad that you found your dream pristine countries on your European vacation.

But I…’m sorry that you feel Tonga…’s …“Poverty is an issue I doubt very much the King wants to deal with in his troubled kingdom,…” you wrote. For your information, in case you did not know, Tonga is a country of Law and Order. And what may you be referring to as …“his troubled kingdom?…”

The King does not like to see …“poverty…” as much as you do, but His subjects enjoy all the freedom you enjoy in the United States, except we do not have the rich natural resources that provide the basis of your rich economy. We are free to move about and travel overseas to live there if we like. The King could not mandate where anyone should move and make a living; isn…’t it the price we pay for freedom?

Your conservationism advocacy is admirable but unrealistic. Even if we turned into a Switzerland tomorrow, it will not suddenly bring prosperity to everyone just because Tonga is environmentally pristine. Our economy will have to find the right mix of economic models to address our social and economic problems in our own way.

Meanwhile, please allow us to keep some of our traditional customs alive even if it is just watching a princess have her hair trimmed by a Maori princess. I…’m sure you…’d be glad to know that it is a more civilized …— and more conservationism …— than our old custom of cutting off limbs and strangling (no…’o monga) to mourn the passing of such an important King as Taufa…’ahau Tupou IV…. 

Sione Mokofisi

sionemokofisi [at] mac [dot] com