Revisiting the Tongan co-collecting stories of Project 83: Small Things Matter – Mele Haunga

Revisiting the Tongan co-collecting stories of Project 83: Small Things Matter – Mele Haunga

For Uike Kātoanga‘i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga | Tongan Language Week we revisit the stories of  the ‘youth agents’ of Project 83: Small Things Matter. This co-collecting project was developed by the Year 13 Tongan language class of Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate in 2017.  

Project 83: Small Things Matter enlisted our youth agents to collect objects that represent their lives as Tongan students of Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate and of course as proud ‘Otarians’. In total the class collected over twenty of their most treasured objects including an original song composition, class photographs and a Tongan brass band uniform. Each object was accompanied by descriptions written in Tongan and English.

Today we share the story of Mele Haunga who was the Head Girl and Dux in 2017.  For this project Mele collected her tau‘olunga costume and four folders with speech transcripts and awards from Tongan language speech competitions.

We acknowledge the generous assistance of Mrs Maata Fusitua who provided editorial support for this blog.

A teenage girl in a school uniform holding pandanus seed necklace and a booklet, standing in front of a dark red wooden wall
Mele Haunga, 2017. Photo by Amanda Rogers. Te Papa

Pukepuke ‘a Fufula

This is one of our Tongan proverbs. It means holding on to something that is very important like our language, Tongan dress, Tongan dance costumes and dance for these things endorse who we are as Tongans.

I would like to gift my Speech Certificates to Te Papa for being 1st in the Tongan Speech Competitions during ASB Polyfest. I would like to encourage our Tongan students to learn to speak the language which is one of our Tongan treasures in New Zealand.  I was always proud to be part of ASB Polyfest, and when my name was announced for being first in the Speech Competition I felt so proud representing our school and my parents and family.

I will treasure my language and will not forget my roots.

Translation provided by Maata Fusitua 

***

Pukepuke ‘a Fufula

Ko e paloveape faka-Tonga ‘eni pea ko hono ‘uhinga ko e tauhi pe puke ke ma‘u ha me‘a ‘oku mahu‘inga.  Hange ko e Lea faka-Tonga, ko e teunga faka-Tonga, ko hoku teunga tauólunga ko e koloa mahu‘inga ia kiate au he ‘oku tala ai hoku tupu‘, ‘a hoku Tonga mo e anga fakafonua. ‘Oku ou loto pe ke foaki ‘eku ngaahi setifikeiti heéku maú á e ngaahi feáuhi lea faka-Tonga he katoanga Polifesi ki he Mesiume Te Papa ke hoko ko e koloa mahu‘inga ki he kaha‘u. Óku ou fakaámu keu fakalotolahi‘i ha fanau Tonga, neongo ‘oku nau tupu hake ‘i Nu‘usila ni, ka nau ke kei pukepuke ‘etau koloa mahu‘inga ko ‘etau lea moe faiva faka-Tonga.

Na‘a ku fiefia ma‘u pe he‘eku kau ki he fe‘auhi lea he Polifesi he ta‘u kotoa pea ko e taimi na‘e ui ai ‘eku ‘uluaki he lea na‘a ku fakafeta‘i ki he ‘Eiki he‘ene ‘omai hoku taleniti ko e poto he lea ‘e ua ‘aia ko ‘eku lea faka-Palangi mo ‘eku lea faka-Tonga.

Ko e koloa mahu‘inga ia he ‘ikai ngalo he‘eku mo‘ui ko ‘eku laukau ‘aki hoku Tonga.

 

My Tongan dance costume

My mother made my dance costume and she is always proud when I wear it for dance performances. I would like to acknowledge and thank my mother for her talents as she is not only working to support my family but also has time at home to make our Tongan dance costumes. I am always proud to perform traditional Tongan dances as this is a talent that God has gifted to me.

I would like to gift all these Tongan treasures to Te Papa because they represent who I am as a Tongan youth in Aotearoa and the history of my Tongan ancestors and family. I would like to thank all my teachers at school and Mrs Fusitu‘a and the team from Te Papa for allowing our voices to be heard through these treasurers.  And like the Tongan proverb that my father always quotes, “Ko e takanga ia émau fohe” our oars are moving in unison to reach our goal in the far horizon.

Translation provided by Maata Fusitua 

***

O hoku teunga tau‘olunga 

Ko ‘eku teunga tau‘olunga na‘e ngaohi ia he‘eku fineéiki pea ne laukau‘aki he taimi ‘oku ou tui ai mo tau‘olunga he ‘oku ne ‘ilo ‘oku ‘aonga hono taleniti. Óku ou fiefia ai keu fakamalo lahi ki heéku fineéiki he‘ene ófa mo akoí au ke óua é ngalo hoku tupuánga.

‘Oku ou fiefia foki he‘eku poto he tau‘olunga he ko e taleniti mo ia ‘e taha kuo fakakoloa ‘aki au ‘e he ‘Eiki.  ‘Oku mafana makehe pe ‘a e taimi ‘oku ou tau‘olunga ai pea ko hoku polepole‘anga ia ko hoku Tonga.

Ko ‘eku faka‘amu ki he‘eku ngaahi koloa ke fakalotolahi‘i ‘ae fanau Tonga ke nau manako pea pukepuke ‘a ‘etau Lea FakaTonga he oku ne fakahaa‘i hotau ‘ulungaanga, ‘ikai ngata ai ka oku ne fakalotolahi‘i kita mo fakatupulekina ke tau lotolahi pea tau tu‘u ‘o lea ‘i ha ha‘oha‘onga ‘o ha kakai.

‘Oku fiema‘u ke fakamahu‘inga‘i ‘ehe ta‘ahine mo e tamasi‘i Tonga ‘a e mahu‘inga ke nau tauhi mo ako‘‘etau faiva mo e hiva faka Tonga he ‘oku ne tala ai hotau hisitolia mo hotau tupu‘anga. Pehe foki ‘oku ne tala ai hotau Tonga mo fakahoko kitautolu ki hotau tupu‘anga.

‘Oku ou loto ke foaki ‘eku ngaahi koloa ko ‘eni ke tauhi ‘e Te Papa koeúhi keu ‘alu atu mo hoku famili mo ‘eku fanau ha ‘aho ‘o lau mo nau sio he koloa mahu‘inga kuo u foaki.

‘Oku ou fakamalo lahi ki Te Papa pea mo émau faiako Lea Faka-Tonga, Mrs Fusitu‘a pea pehe ki heémau matuá he ngaue ‘aonga kuo mau fai ke talanoa mo fakahaa‘i ‘emau ngaahi koloa mahu‘inga ke tauhi he hisitolia ‘o e Mesieume. Ko e takanga ia émau fohe.

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Brings back good memories. Wishing you future success.
    I was US Peace Corps in Tonga 71-73. At Tonga high School. Thanks


Leave a comment