New bilingual book educates artists and traditional upholders of Tongan culture

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L-R one of the editors that compiled the book Dr Viliami Puloka, Tonga’s Prime Minister, ‘Alilisi Pohiva, the author Rev Dr Tevita Tonga Mohenoa Puloka, the governor of Ha’apai, Mo’ale Finau and guests at the launch of the book in Tongaleleka, Ha’apai earlier this year. Photo/Supplied

A new bilingual book on Tongan education, theology and performing arts has been launched in New Zealand.

Titled “A Parent’s Dream: A Son Inspired,” the book is a collection of the works of Tongan artist, educator and theologian, Rev Dr Tevita Tonga Mohenoa Puloka.

First launched in Tonga last July by Her Majesty Queen Nanasipau’u Tuku’aho, the author spoke about his work at the Auckland launch at the Mangere Arts Centre on November 4, where he also autographed launch day copies.

Queen Nanasipau’u praised the book as a priceless resource for the education of all Tongan children, ministers, artists, nation-builders and traditional upholders of Tongan culture and society.

Fellow Tongan theologian Archbishop Winston Halapua commended Dr Puloka’s artistic and linguistic skills.

“He enables the reader also to join a joyful dance to the glory of God. The content of this valuable collection speaks to our changing and challenging contexts today. The collection is a precious gift for future generations. Puloka’s passion and love of God is mānava (breath) encountered through his courageous and creative writings,” Bishop Halapua said.

Book editors Sione Tu’itahi and Viliami Puloka regard the book as a rich repository of Tongan Indigenous knowledge for Tongan and non-Tongan scholars and researchers.

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  1. Koe’uhi ke poupou ki he langa fonua ‘a e kakai Tonga ‘e tufaki atu ‘a e ‘uluaki tohi ngāue fakapunake mo fakafaiako pea toe tala’otua kuo fakatou fa’u ‘i he Lea Tonga mo e Pilitānia ‘i he mahina katu’u.

    Ko e tohi eni ‘a e faifekau mo punake pea toe faiako ko Toketa Tevita Tonga Mohenoa Puloka ‘a ia ne ‘osi faka’ata ‘i Tonga ‘e Kuini Nanasipau’u Tuku’aho. Ka ko hono toki paaki eni ke fakatau atu ‘i māmani kotoa. Ko hono hingoa “Ko e Misi ‘a e Matu’a: Fanguna-Loto ma’ae Foha.”

    ‘Oku mohu koloa e “tohi ‘o hangē tofu pē ko e pola… ‘Oku ma‘u ai ha fa‘ahinga me‘atokoni pē, ‘o fakatatau ki ho‘o fiema‘u. ‘Oku fe‘unga ki he longa‘i fānau mo e to‘utupú, ‘a e ngaahi koloa ke faka‘aonga he‘enau ngaahi fekumi fakaako. Fe‘unga ki he kau tauhi fonuá he ‘oku ma‘u faingofua ai e ngaahi talatupu‘a mei ono ‘aho ki he lolotongá ni,” ko e folofola ia ‘a e Ta’ahina Kuini he hifoaki e tohi ‘i Ha’apai.

    “Faifekau Punake Toketa Tevita Tonga Mohenoa Puloka, ‘oku ou fakamālō atu… Mālō e okooko, mālō e uku loloto, mālō e toutai ola pea mālō e vahevahe mai ho‘o kato fangotá ke ‘inasi ha taha pē ‘i Tongá ni pea a‘u atu foki ki tu‘a pule‘anga mo māmani lahi.”

    ‘E faka’ilonga’i pea kamata fakatau atu e tohi ‘i he Mangere Arts Centre ‘i ‘Aokalani, Nu’usila ‘I Nōvema 4, 2017. ‘E ‘i ai ‘a Toketa Puloka ke talanoa ki he’ene ngāue mo fakamo’oni hingoa ki he ngaahi tohi ‘a kinautolu ‘e lava ki he kātoanga fakaola tohi.

    Na’e pehē ‘e Pisope Winston Halapua ‘o e Siasi Faka-‘Inglani ‘i he talateu ‘o e tohi, ko e tohi ‘a Mohenoa ko e me’a’ofa matu’aki fungani ki he kaha’u ‘o Tonga mo e fonua pea ‘oku kanokato ai ‘a e tui ‘Otua mo e ‘ofa ‘a Mohenoa he tufunga lea mo e faiva fatu ta’anga, kae’uma’ā ‘ene ngāue fakafaiako mo e teolosia.

    Ka na’e pehē ‘e he ongo ‘etita na’a na fakama’opo’opo e tohi, ko Sione Tu’itahi mo Viliami Puloka, ko e tohi ni ko e moana mohu koloa ke toutai ai ‘a e Tonga kotoa mo ha sola ‘oku fie ‘inasi he ngaahi ’ilo tu’ufonua mei
    Tonga kuo filifili mai ‘o tauhi malu he tohi mahu’inga ni.