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Letters

Tongan culture under attack

Pago Pago, American Samoa

Editor,

Richard Wolfgramm and Mele Payne Lynch your letters cannot generate any

meaningful discussion on the the Environment and Resource Conservation

in Tonga for the following reasons.

1. You offered no proof that the culture is the cause of the problems

2. You offered no solutions to the problems

3. You have done nothing new or extraordinary worth boasting about

Ms. Lynch, your letter has very little to do with environment and

resource conservation. Yours was a down right attack on cultural

ceremonies as total waste. Some of us disagree and we submit that even

when some cultural ceremonies appear to have little or no economic

value, it brings warmth with enthusiasm to the members involve,

promoting mutual support, a corner stone of Economic Development.

The Cultural issue is very sensitive to a lot of people because they

equate the Tonga Culture to real people they hold with high respect.

These includes, Mothers and Sisters, Fathers and grandparents, and the

whole extended family.

A year ago in Oakland, Palutu i Vailahi, asked one of the boys in his

Club House called the Malau o Vailahi to leave after he delivered a

speech that was culturally derogatory and sadly anti Tonga Government,

Palutu in tears spoke, “with all due respect, young man, you can burn

down my Club House, I have food at the house for you to eat, you can

take anything you want from here, but I will not allow you to say

anymore trash about my sisters and mother”. Someone whispered, but he

was talking about Tonga, I answered, Tonga is his sisters and his mother.

I wander whether you are having problem co mingling common human

behavior and what has been developed over generations as culture.

Culture teaches us to keep our community clean. It is bad habit, a

common human behavior, that I discard my trash on the side of the road

and not in trash cans. Culture build a Ha’amonga, bad human behaviors

paint graffiti on it. You both present yourselves as well educated.

You should have too much problem understanding my drift here.

Mr. Wolfgramm, I fail to see any connection between the Tongan Culture

and the traffic jam at Nuku’alofa, the garbage and the condition of the

Land Fill at Popua. I do not see Culture as the cause of all negative

images Tonga you have articulated. And while you two are blaming the

culture, you offered no proof that it is the culprit here.

The biggest mistakes about us “Critics” that aggravates people in Tonga

to no end is not that we are too anxious to point out the problems but

the fact that we offer no solutions along with it. Moreover, we fail

to recognize and appreciate the past and current efforts that has been

expended locally to solve the problem. We have no idea of what is and

has been plan for the future. Last but not the least of the

disappointment with us is the fact we contribute nothing and show no

respect for those who are trying to solve the problem.

It is out of sheer frustration that those who are doing something in

Tonga are asking pe Ko hai Koe? They meant to say is, “Ms. Lynch and

Mr. Wolfgramm, you both hit the nail on the head and you are to be

commented on your been alert to the problems that is affecting Tonga.

Now, we ask that you please please be our quest, help us by detailing

your plan to eradicate just these three problems: the traffic jam,

garbage and Land Fill situation and graffiti on national monuments.

please indicate somewhere in your plan your source of funding. We hope

it is not going to be a problem for you that we have finally relocated

the Land Fill at Tukutonga. It will be most interesting to read how you

are going to stop people from buying more vehicles and how do you plan

to force the “no trash on the ground law” we have been pushing for

years.” I will respect Ms. Lynch, emulating her may be too far fetch

until I hear your plans for Tonga.

Thank you Mele and Richard for your contributions to Tonga’s economy by

traveling to Tonga regularly and circulating your hard earned money in

the stores, the markets, the cafes, the hotels.

Big-huge-fricken-deal. A lot of us do that.

In my line of work, we brag about going out of the way, during

inclement weather, beyond and above our call of duty to accomplish a

mission with very little or no support.

Otherwise, it is normal duty. I would not brag about my travel to Tonga

as something out of the ordinary. As far as I am concern, I have done

nothing that others have not done. I’ll go the extra mile and give

myself a legitimate reason brag.

Faka’apa’apa Atu

Mafi ‘o Amerika Samoa Lousiale Kava.

slkava [at] samoatelco [dot] com