Thought you might be interested about how the island celebrates Christmas so here goes. We spend the 24th gathering food in preparation for the feasts called (fakaafe) said like” fucker are fee” don’t be offended we say fucker I mean faka a lot around here it’s not swearing it doesn’t mean anything on its own but when attached to a word it sort of means doing, well sort of. On Christmas day we gather at the village hall and give Tapa, Tapa is a painted mat made from plant bark that is beaten till its paper thin and stuck together and painted with a plant dye. The girl at the gps end of school concert is wearing Tapa. Then ever one goes to church except for the people who are making food. Tongans love food and as tradition has it there must be more food than can be eaten on the tables. If the food is all eaten then that means that the host wasn’t very good. Tonga is a poor country when it comes to money but food well there is so much of it that it’s free, Traditional food that is.
When ever one comes back from church we sit in the village hall and say prayers then eat, while we eat each person stands up and says a little talk about what ever the like ( when I say a little talk sometimes a talk can go on for half an hour or more ) these talks are about family, love for the people of the village and what ever else is on your mind at the time. People cry and laugh , share there lives. At this point I should point out there is no such thing as a secret in a village so when we share we really do share. There is no order to the talks you stand up when you get the feeling that it is right to stand up. Then comes music and dancing.
After this of course more church, the church going goes on for seven days after Christmas as well three times a day the up side of this is, so do the feasts.
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