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Tonga (Customs and Laws)

16 Oct 2015

Our Subjects / Ā Mātou Kaupapa:

What are the customs and laws for Tonga?

LEVEL: Intermediate / Secondary

Tonga is a Polynesian kingdom of islands, in the Pacific Ocean. The Kingdom of Tonga has its own customs and laws that have changed over the years, especially after contact with Western traders and missionaries.

To find out about the culture of Tonga, which includes customs, laws and many other aspects of culture, we recommend checking out the EPIC databases. To get to the EPIC databases you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or, you can log on to between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday, and one of the librarians can help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

For a great overview, start with Britannica School, which you can find under the heading Encyclopaedia Britannica. You'll be given three options of different levels, so choose the level best suited to you and search for 'Tonga'. The great thing about Britannica School is that if there is too much information, or not enough, you can change your level by clicking on the reading level in the top right corner. Check out the information under the headings People, or Culture.

Another helpful place to start would be Te Ara: Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Do a search for 'Tonga' to find all the entries that mention Tonga. Or if you want to find out about the culture and customs of Tongans living in New Zealand, then:

  1. From the home page click on New Zealand Peoples.
  2. Next click Peoples.
  3. Now scroll down the list of cultures that live in New Zealand until you find Tongans

(Don't forget with Te Ara that you can read the short story or, for more information, click on 'Read the Full story' or choose one of the headings under Story Contents.)

From there you may like to try the official Tongan Ministry of Tourism page. For an overview on Tongan culture, click on 'Discover Tonga' at the top of the page, and then True Culture.

Christchurch City Libraries has a great list of websites about Tonga, where you can find information about government, human rights, tourism, economics, history and more. One great website on this list is the CIA World Factbook's country profile on Tonga

HOT TIP: Another place to look is Wikipedia which has great coverage of many topics, including Tongan laws and customs. But you need to be aware that this information is contributed by lots of different people. If you are using this site, it always pays to check the information against that on other sites or in books from the library.

Don't forget to check out our other ManyAnswers entries about Tonga.

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