MMT recalls Tongan tradition of courage and respect in times of defeat, says academic

'Oku taupotu 'i lalo he talanoa ni 'a e fakamatala faka-Tonga kakato 'a Sione Tu'itahi ki he va'inga fakaholo mamata 'a e Mate Ma'a Tonga lolotonga e fe'auhi Ipu 'a Māmani he 'akapulu liiki. Ko e konga si'i pe mei he'ene talanoa ko ia 'oku to'o 'e he Kaniva 'o ngāue'aki 'i he ongoongo ko 'eni 'i he lea 'Ingilisi

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Sione Tu'itahi. Photo/Kaniva News

A Tongan academic said the Mate Ma’a Tonga players’ performance during the Rugby League World Cup has rekindled the kind of courage, respect and peace Tongans have whenever they were defeated in sports.

Sione Tu’itahi, a former Tongan journalist, writer and lecturer at Massey University and now
director of the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand said these players were true patriots who gave everything for their purposes.

Tu’itahi said the players showed in their performance against England at the Mt Smart on
Saturday 25 they loved and remembered their homeland.

Tonga lost to England 18-20 in what many have described as history in the making.

Tu’itahi said Tonga was defeated according to the referee and the scoreboard, but they have won in the hearts of the rugby league community because of their great performance in the field.

He said the players showed the meaning of the Tongan proverb: “Do not count on your injuries, only count on what you have achieved” (‘Oua ‘e lau kafo kae lau lava).

The players showed what most immigrants have when they arrived in their new home.

They used the opportunity to use their talents to earn a living and contribute to their homeland and the international community, Tu’itahi said.

Tu’itahi said the Tongan “young youth” who lived overseas countries and played for Tonga
during the World Cup tournament on Saturday were ‘ofa kāinga (love their relatives).

They had offered to play for their “small and poor country,” which lacked natural resources but was rich in religious spirit and education.

These players’ parents sacrificed their lives by leaving their own lands in Tonga.

They worked hard as labourers in Australia, the United States and New Zealand to give their children better lives, Tu’itahi said.

This had created in their children attitudes of striving to be successful while remembering how difficult the way had been for their parents.

This had also created in them a deep love for their parents and willingness to give back and help their families, churches and the nation.

Defection

The Tongan team had been made up of mostly players who unexpectedly defected from their New Zealand and Australian’s teams and offered to play for Tonga.

It was Jason Taumālolo, who last year signed a 10-year $10 million deal with North Queensland, who first made the move to represent Tonga instead of New Zealand.

Tui Lolohea (Wests Tigers), Solomone Kata (Warriors), Konrad Hurrell (Titans), Manu Vatuvei (Salford), Manu Ma’u (Eels) and David Fusitu’a (Warriors) also joined him and made themselves available for Tonga.

“New Zealand players receive $30,000 just for pulling on the Kiwis jersey and can earn up to $50,000 by winning the World Cup final. Tonga can only afford to pay their stars $3000 for the entire tournament and a $30-a-day per diem.”

The Tongan government said after a fundraising it organised for the team during the tournament the “players understand our financial limitations as a country and do not expect any more money.”

Arrival in Tonga

Most of the team and the staff arrived in Tonga today and were met with hundreds of jubilant Tongans at the Fu’amotu International airport.They were later welcomed at the Tanoa hotel in Nuku’alofa by Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva.

Mate Ma’a Tonga exited the World Cup tournament after they were controversially defeated
on Saturday on their semi-final match against England.

The decision by the referee to not refer the controversial try by Andrew Fifita to video referees has caused controversy in the rugby league community.

The controversy had divided Tongans, with many supporting a move to launch an action against the referee, while others, including MMT player Konrad Hurrel, have called on supporters to move on and withdraw from any further protests.

The Tongan centre addressed fans after protests in Auckland following the devastating loss to England.

“As much as we would love to be at the final next week, let’s stop the protest and move on,” Hurrel told New Zealand’s One News.

Tomorrow (Wednesday, November 29) has been declared a public holiday in the kingdom to
celebrate the national team’s achievement.

The team will be welcomed to the Palace tomorrow evening where the players will be awarded with Royal Orders by the king.

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  1. Talanoa Tufunga Fonua – Konga ‘Uluaki

    Ko e ‘uhinga loloto na’e lava me’a ai e fanau ‘akapulu liiki Tonga

    Fa’u ‘e Sione Tu’itahi

    (Faiako, fa’u tohi mo faiongoongo pea kaunga taki he mala’e ‘o e mo’ui mo e langa fonua ‘i Aoteroa Nu’usila)

    Neongo ne ikuna e fakamaau mo e papa tohi kai he tau liiki ‘a Tonga mo ‘Ingilani (kai 20 ki he 18) ‘i he Tokonaki, ka na’e ikuna ‘e Tonga ‘a e loto ‘o mamani tu’unga he’enau va’inga fakaholomamata ‘aki honau poto’i-va’inga, mo e loto’i Tonga.

    Na’e fakamahino ‘e he fanau ko eni ‘e toko 24, ‘oku mohu taleniti pea lava me’a ‘a Tonga si’i kae mo’unga-ki-he loto, ‘o hange pe ko ha toe falukunga kakai pe makatakali ‘i mamani, neongo ko e ha honau tu’unga fakaekoloa mo honau tokolahi fakakatoa.

    Ka ko e me’a mahu’inga ‘e taha na’e fakamanatu mai ‘e he timi liiki ‘a Tonga, ko e fonua loto-to’a mo poto ‘a Tonga pea ‘oku nau melino, faka’apa’apa mo fakatokilalo ‘o tatau pe he ikuna pe tokalalo. ‘Oku ‘ikai ke nau tukulolo pe lau kafo kae lau lava. Neongo e mama mo e hopohopokia ‘oku nau lusia kae’oua pe kuo taulanga. ‘Oku nau mateaki li’oa ki he’enau taumu’a ‘o fotu ia he’enau mamahi’i mo ‘ofa fonua tupu’anga. ‘Oku nau ‘ofa he totonu kae fehi’a ki he faihala, pea ‘osikiavelenga ki he tau’ataina mo e lelei fakakatoa. Ko e tefito’i ’uhinga foki ia ne ‘ikai pule kehea ai ‘a Tonga talu mei mu’a, neongo ‘a e mole kotoa e tukui motu Pasifiki ki he ngaahi fonua hau mo talaa.

    Ko e ngaahi kaveinga tatau pe ia na’e fa’a folofola ‘aki ‘e Taufa’ahau Tupou IV mo e Tu’i Pelehake he’eku kei faifatongia ‘i Tonga. Kae’uma’a ‘eku fa’a talanoa mo e kau langa fonua hange ko Faifekau Lopeti Taufa, Faifekau Toketa Tevita Tonga Mohenoa Puloka, mo e ‘Eiki Palemia lolotonga ko Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva. Na’a nau fakatokanga kotoa pe: ka mole ‘a e ngaahi koloa fufū kae matu’aki mahu’inga ko eni mei Tonga, ‘e mole ‘a e kakai mo e fonua. Pea ka tauhi mo’oni ia ‘o fakatoukatea he lea mo e ngaue, ‘e tu’uloa ‘a Tonga pea te nau toe ‘aonga ma’a mamani kotoa.

    ‘Oku tu’unga he ngaahi tefito’i mo’oni ko eni ‘a ‘etau fanafotu ‘i he Pasifiki mo mamani he mala’e sipoti, hange ko Kitione Lave, Sione Filipe, Sanitesi Latu, Dame Valerie Adams, Jonah Lomu, Paea Wolfgramm mo Jason Taumalolo mo e tokolahi he’ikai fa’alaua. Ka ko e taha pe ia e ngaahi mala’e ‘oku tau taaimu’a ai.

    ‘I he mala’e ‘o e hiva mo e faiva, ne lava me’a ai ‘a e Jets, Jordi Unga, Semisi Ma’u mo Dinah Jane ‘i ‘Amelika. Pehe kia Malukava, Fakatava, Sofele Kakala, Peni Tutu’ila, Nau Saimone, Tu’imala Kaho, Penisimani Makisi, Nanise Lomu Taufo’ou mo Foni Pole’o he Pasifiki mo Tonga. Ko e ni’ihi hangē ko ‘Aleki Pelesikoti, Viliami Toluta’u, Filipe Tohi, Sitiveni Fehoko, Ruha Fifita, Visesio Siasau, Semisi Potauaine mo Viliami Lousi he mala’e ‘o e tā valivali mo e tā tongitongi.

    ‘I he mala’e ‘o e ako ‘oku polepole ‘a Tonga mo e Pasifiki ‘i he kau tu’ukimu’a hangē ko Palofesa ‘Epeli Hau’ofa, Futa Helu, Konai-Helu Thaman, Toketa Sione Latukefu, ‘Ana Taufe’ulungaki, Kalapoli Paongo, Linita Manu’atu mo ‘Okusitino Mahina.
    ‘I he mala’e ‘o e faito’o mo e mo’ui lelei ‘oku kei malama ai e hingoa ‘o e ni’ihi hangē ko Tokeā ‘Alo-ki-hakau ‘Eva, Toketā Tevita Puloka, Toketa Supileo Foliaki, Toketa Sione Tapa mo Lord Tangi ‘o e Vaonukonuka.

    Kae kei ongona he mala’e ‘o e fakatupu koloa ‘a e ni’ihi hangē ko Siosaia Mataele, Vilisolo Finau, Kelepi Tupou, Lipoi Tupou, Joe Tu’ilatai, Sione Hoko’ila Fua, Tevita Misa Fifita, ‘Uliti Uata, Joseph Ramanlal, Papiloa Foliaki, Lesieli Vete, Roy Cocker, Semi Vete, mo ‘Esafe Vuki.

    ‘I tōkanga ‘oku ake e manatu ki he kau fa’a hange ko Tutone Ma’asi, Sisi Hangale, Kiteau Tatafu, Tevita Liti, Mahe Taloa, Tu’alau Hala’api’api mei Tongatapu. Mei Ha’apai ko Siaosi Hoeft mo e tokolahi, pehē ki Vava’u kia Pafilio Tangitau, ‘Isileli Fifita mo Sini Nafe mo e tokolahi he’ikai fa’a laua.

    Lolotonga ia ‘oku namu kakala he mala’e ‘o e lotu ‘i he Pasifiki mo mamani tu’unga he’enau taki fakapotototo mo taki lelei, ‘a e ni’ihi hangē ko Toketa Sione ‘Amanaki Havea, Pisope Pateliso Finau, Pisope Fine Halapua, mo Pisope Sione Kami.

    Ka ko e tufunga fonua mo e langa ‘o Tonga ‘oku hiliō ai e kau taki ‘iloa ‘o hange ko Lo’au, pehe ki he ‘Uluaki Fā na’a ne fālute ‘a Tonga ki he ‘Otua, Kuini Salote ‘oku kei ‘ofeina ‘i Tonga mo māmani tautefito ki Pilitania, Taufa’ahau Tupou IV, kae’uma’a ‘a Toketā Langi Kavaliku, mo Mahe’uli’uli Tupouniua.

    Ko e ni’ihi pē eni kuo tā fihi ma’ae fonua pea tā sipinga ma’a hono ngaahi to’ufefine mo to’utangata. Ko e kau tufunga fonua mo langa fonua kuo nau kaunga hiki ‘a Tonga ki ‘olunga.

    ‘I he fāliunga ‘a e mo’ui ‘o fakavaha’apule’anga mo fehokotaki e ngaahi fonua kotoa, pea kau atu ‘a Tonga he pue ‘o nau ‘auhē fakatokolahi ki he meimei fonua kotoa ‘o e mamani, ‘oku tupulaki fakautuutu ai e liliu mahu’inga ‘e ua ki he kakai Tonga, ‘o hangē pe ko e toenga ‘o ngaahi matakali ‘o e mamani.

    ‘Uluaki ‘oku nau kei ‘ofa mo manatu pea tokoni ki honau tupu’anga. Ua, ‘oku nau kau atu ki he fāmili fakakatoa ‘o e fa’ahinga ‘o e tangata ‘i honau takitaha fonua fo’ou. ‘Oku nau ma’u ai ‘a e pole kafakafa mo e faingamālie lahi he taimi tatau, ‘a ia ko ‘enau ‘osikiavelenga ‘i honau mala’e takitaha koe’uhi ke nau mo’ui pea nau ‘aonga ai ki honau fonua tupu’anga pea nau toe kau atu ki he langa ‘o e māmani ko e fonua pe ‘e taha.

    Ko e fo’i mo’oni mahu’inga ia na’a tau mamata ki ai ‘i he Tokonaki he mala’e va’inga liiki ‘i ‘Aokalani, ‘a e foki ‘a si’i to’u talavou fanau’i muli kae hako’i Tonga, tu’unga he’enau ‘ofa kāinga mo e ‘ofa fonua, ‘o va’inga ma’a honau fonua tupu’anga, ‘a e ki’i fonua si’i mo masiva he koloa matelie kae mahutafea he laumalie, lotu, ako, mo e poto’i-loto na’e folau mei ai ‘enau ngaahi matu’a.

    ‘A ‘enau matu’a na’a nau feilaulau ke kumi fonua fo’ou, si’aki honau ngaahi kolo mo’ui fiefia mo nonga, ka nau tafi e ngaahi hala pule’anga efu mo e ngaahi falengāue ‘o Nu’usila, ‘Aositelia mo ‘Amelika. Nau ngāue ‘aho mo e pō kae feinga’i si’enau fānau ‘i ha fa’ahinga tafa’aki p, kehe pē ke nau ikuna, kehe pē ke nau lava me’a, kehe pē ke nau tau fonua, pea nau kei ‘ofa he mātu’a, ‘ofa mo ‘aonga ki he fāmili, ‘ofa mo ‘aonga ki he kolo, lotu mo e fonua.

    Pea toki fakafonu ‘e he fuka Tonga ‘a e mala’e va’inga ‘i he faka’osinga ‘o e uike ‘o hiva mo lotu pea tuē, kae vangana ‘a e lo’imata ‘o e fiefia mo e manatu-‘ofa ‘i hono fakasino ‘e he fānau ‘a e moto ko e “‘Otua mo Tonga Ko Hoku Tofi’a.” ‘E nau hiva mo manatu ki he “ki’i fonua ‘oku tu’u ‘i ‘ōseni, na’e ‘ikai ma’u ‘Otua kae masiva he lelei,” kae “haleluia kuo monu’ia eni.” Te’eki mamata ‘a e māmani sipoti ha me’a pehē. Fehu’i ‘e he kau faiongoongo he’enau vivili ke ‘ilo hono mo’oni loloto ‘o e fu’u kau poupou toko lahi pehē fau, faaitaha, fiefia pea melino mo maau. Neongo pē ne ‘i ai ha ki’i tokosi’i ne heva e māfana ‘o kaka he funga me’alele pea fakakina he hala he ngaahi ‘aho kimu’a, pea iku ke fe’iloaki mo e kau ‘ōfisa melino, ka na’e lelei e meimei kotoa ‘a e fiefia ‘a e kāinga Tonga mo e poupou ki he fānau va’inga.

    Ka ko e hā leva ‘atautolu ‘oku ako mei he a’usia ni mo e ngaahi fua ko eni ‘o hanga atu ki he’etau fononga ki he kaha’u na? ‘Oku lahi e ngaahi me’a ke tau ala fai.

    ‘Uluaki, ke fakatokanga’i ‘e he ngaahi fāmili kotoa ‘i Tonga mo tu’apule’anga ‘a e ngaahi mata’ikoloa faka’atamai mo fakalaumālie ‘oku langa’aki ‘a e fonua kotoa pe ‘i māmani, kau ai ‘a Tonga, ‘o kumuni ke hokohoko atu ’aki hotau teu’i, tautefito ki he fānau mo e makapuna Tonga kotoa.

    Ua, ke fakapotopoto ‘a e kau taki he tapa kotoa ‘etau nofo – mei he lotu mo e ako ki he pisinisi mo e pule’anga – ‘o fakamahu’inga’i ‘a e ‘ofa mo e ivi mahu’inga ‘o e kainga mei muli, mo Tonga foki, ke tau langa ‘a Tonga pea langa hake mo māmani.

    Tolu, ke mafao atu ‘etau nofo ‘a kāinga mo e fua kavenga ke fakakau mālohi ki ai ‘a e fakatupukoloa. Ko hono mo’oni, ‘e lelei taha ki he kaha’u, ke tau ohi ‘a e fa’unga kakato ‘o e fonua ola – mo hono tapa mahu’inga ‘e ono ko e langa fakalaumālie, fakamatelie, faka’atamai, fakaekoloa, anga fakafonua mo e ‘ātakai, pea tauhi ke napangapangamālie ‘a e ngaahi tapa mahu’inga kotoa ko eni ‘e ono ‘o e mo’ui. Ke tauhi he funga kotoa pe ‘etau nofo, mei he taautaha, kāinga, kolo mo e fonua, kae’um’aa ‘a e māmani kotoa, he kuo hoko ‘a Tonga ko e kupu ‘o māmani, pea ko māmani ko Tonga ai pe ia.

    Ka ‘ikai ia, te tau kei mui’i maea pe he tapa kotoa. Te tau kei fakatau pe ‘a e fuka mo e sapasui mei he kau ‘Esia, ke tau oo mo ia ki mala’e va’inga. ‘I he ‘aho Tokonaki, ne laka fakapotanga e kakai Tonga ki he mala’e va’inga kae tulimui atu e kau Siaina mo e ngaahi ha’inga fuka ke hoko atu pe hono fakataua.

    Ko e hala fononga ko eni ‘o e fonua ola, ‘oku taau ke tau fakama’uma’uluta ma’a hotau kāinga Tonga kotoa, tautefito ki he’etau fānau mo e makapuna ko hotau kaha’u mo e lolotonga. Ko e kau ‘Esia, kau Siu mo e kau ‘Iulope, ‘oku nau nofo-‘a-kainga, fua kavenga fakapotopoto pea nau toe fakatupukoloa ‘i ha fonua pe ‘i mamani ‘oku nau ‘aunofo ki ai. Ko e kāinga mei he Pasifiki, ‘oku tau kei lahi nofo-‘a-kainga mo fua kavenga kae hāhāmolofia ke tau fakatupu koloa pe pisinisi ke tau fa’aki ki ai he ‘alomālie mo e ‘alotāmaki.

    Pea ko hono fā, ke fetakinima ‘a e kau taki kotoa he’etau nofo, mei he fāmili, ki he kolo mo e fonua, ‘i muli ni mo Tonga, ‘o tataki fakataha ‘etau fononga he ngaahi kupu mahu’inga ‘e ono ‘o e hala fononga kuo tofa.

    ‘I Nu’usila ni kuo fetakinima e kau takilotu ‘o fokotu’u ‘enau tākanga ke kaunga tataki ‘etau fononga mo e kāinga Tonga kotoa. Na’a nau kau atu ki he ngaahi fatongia ke tauhi e melino, malu mo e maau ‘o e fe’auhi liiki kuo toki situ’a atu. Kuo nau ohi ‘enau kaveinga folau Fonua Ola mo hono ngaahi kupu mahu’inga ‘e ono kuo fai ki ai e lave. ‘I he ta’u fo’ou te nau konifelenisi ai mo e kau taki Tonga he ngaahi mala’e kehe- hangē ko e ako, fakatupu koloa mo e mo’ui lelei– ke paotoloaki e hala fononga fonua ola ke hoko atu ai e langa fonua ‘a e kāinga Tonga ‘i Nu’usila ni.

    Hangē ko ‘eku fakatalanoa he kamata’anga ‘o e fakamatala ni, ‘oku monu’ia ‘a Tonga ‘i he ‘ofa tu’unga’a ‘a e ‘Otua, ‘o hangē pe ko ha toe matakali ‘i māmani, he ‘oku ‘ofa tatau pē ‘a e ‘Otua ki he fa’ahinga kotoa ‘o e tangata. Kae toe ha? Ko ‘ene fakatupu kotoa. ‘Oku ‘a e ‘Otua ‘a e tufa taleniti, ‘oku ‘atautolu hono ngaue’i. Ngaue’i pea fua, tanu pea ‘ufikaua. Ko e tui eni ‘a e Tonga pea ko ‘ene kaveinga folau ia.

    Mo’oni e lau ‘a e punake:

    Tama Tonga tu’u ‘o ngaue
    Ko ho koloa ke fakamonu
    Lotu ki he ‘Eiki ma’u pe
    Ke ne poupou ki he lotu
    ‘O malu’i, ‘o malu’i ‘a Tupou

    Te u lepa heke hee, ka tau toki talanoa he konga hono ua ‘i he kaha’u.

    Tu’a ‘ofa atu.

    ©Sione Tu’itahi, November 27, 2017