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Young Tongans struggle to maintain values

Sydney, Australia

Dear Editor,

What is a true Tongan? What have we inherited? I was born overseas and I was led to believe that the true Tongan was either the monarchy or persons born in Tonga, bred Tongan and lived the Tongan way of life, culturally, socially and traditionally.

Yet our grandparents and parents time of upbringing 'yesterday' is so different to the Tonga we know of today. If you ask Tongans, what is a true Tongan? not many understand or care about Tonga or have a love or affection towards the monarchy or the even the Government itself.

The motto on the Tongan coat of arms says: "God and Tonga are my inheritance". For many young Tongans the question is, an inheritance to what? Young people are growing up in a time of unprecedented change struggling to maintain the traditional, cultural values while facing an unknown future, which they've just inherited from their elders. The truth is that young Tongans whether born overseas or in Tonga are the least to be heard, yet face every day social and ethical problems in communities overseas, as a result many struggle through education, and face limited job opportunities so some turn to organised crime and drug trafficking.

Yet our Tongan politicians, both ministers and people's representatives argue on issues that really don't solve but prolong the problems facing the future of the Kingdom. We worry about media laws that are a basic human right, and we charge the average Tongan twice as much to pay off an airline that seems to have no-ending in debt.

We choose to ignore the fact that the fabric of Tongan society has changed in the last 10-20 years, yet no one wants to solve the problems that plague our youth. If we are not careful, we may end up just like the Solomon Islands or Papua New Guinea where lawlessness is a fact of life.

So what is a true Tongan? What have we inherited? A True Tongan loves the Lord and the Tongan flag, respects the monarchy and the laws of the land. A true Tongan will listen and learn from the people, and will do all in his/her power to place the country first, rather than themselves.

For the true monarchy, an endless love for the people, a willingness to listen and understand, a heart of affection, a want to share, to meet the people and shake their hands, to be like Jesus Christ a servant for mankind.

A True Tongan will listen to and cherish our youth, promote the truth, challenge corruption and unlawful activities, and defend the rights and promote freedom amongst all Tongans and, most importantly, be a humble person.

A true Tongan will serve the Kingdom at no cost. If I was a Minister or parliamentarian in the Tongan Government I certainly wouldn't want to be paid to run the country, for in return the country will serve thee, it only takes one to listen and so many to share. So what have we inherited? "A youthful and brighter hope for the future ". What is a true Tongan is something we should all think about.

Andrew Fifita J.P. (NSW) ACSC
Sydney, Australia.