• Solomon Islands!

    Solomon Islands: Looking up at palm trees. Go Now!

    Solomon Islands
    This Melanesian country is best known for its many islands and beaches... and this natural landscape (pictured) is why most people go. Don't miss out on the unique Melanesian culture and foods though! Begin Your Journey!

  • Tonga!

    Tonga: Coastline. Go Now!

    The heart of Polynesian culture is rooted in Tonga, but most visitors just come for the natural beauty. Explore Tonga!

  • Vanuatu!

    Vanuatu: Jetty into the ocean. Go Now!

    Picturesque serenity is a good way to describe Vanuatu, but the culture offers much more, including the inspiration for bungee jumping, which remains a rite of passage for young men. Explore Vanuatu!

  • Palau!

    Palau: "70 Islands!" Go Now!

    Few people have even heard of this small Micronesian country, but those who have often return with stories of beauty unmatched elsewhere, such as view of the "70 Islands" (pictured). Go Now!

  • Explore the: Federated States of Micronesia!

    Federated States of Micronesia: Overlooking some islands. Go Now!

    Federated States of Micronesia
    This diverse country stretches for thousands of miles and has the diversity to prove it, including the people from Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Yap among others. Begin Your Journey!

  • Samoa!

    Samoa: A traditional home. Go Now!

    Among the most famous of the South Pacific's many countries, Samoa sits in the heart of Polynesia and has a culture to match. Begin Your Journey!

Culture & Identity of Tonga


The Tongan way of life can best be described as relaxed. Time seems unimportant as the present trumps the future and punctuality is not an issue. With this comes a belief that family and friends should come above all else as the present company should be cherished and rushing out the door for any reason is not acceptable.

Most of Tonga's population is rural and even those in "urban" centers tend to live in what is a small town on world standards. No matter where a person lives though their way of life and culture change little; the people still live off the land and move at a slow pace as family and friends are always more important than work or money. Despite this attitude, Tonga is relatively wealthy in comparison to many other countries in the South Pacific.

For nearly everyone, farming is at least a part of their daily life and for many people this is their full time occupation. Many families have plots of land for substance farming and grow their own foods, spending some time each day to gather their crops or fish for their next meal. Work and even picking crops seems secondary to happiness as that tends to be what truly dictates the success of any given day.

Most free time in Tonga is spent socializing with family and friends. It seems like a common occurrence for many Tongans to just casually stroll around town until they decide to stop at a friend's house, where they will surely be welcomed in for a drink or even a full meal.


Nearly everyone in Tonga identifies as being a "Tongan," but how this is defined is being debated as modern-day challenges and introductions to the country threaten the historic definition of being Tongan and the people seem torn on which way to turn and how much, if at all, they can change the definition of being Tongan and how much, if at all, they can change Tongan culture, which is at the heart of the Tongan identity.

Tongan identity and culture has always been based on a person's family and community. Village life is at the core of the culture and family is what makes each village unique and what makes the country as a whole what it is today. However, modern technology and a changing mindset in Tonga are threatening this lifestyle; hence it is changing the culture and the definition of what it means to be "Tongan." In a way the people want the modern lifestyle and improvements in their daily lives, but they don't want to abandon their traditional culture. Some people believe the two can progress hand in hand, while others believe these modern additions will destroy the culture, and hence destroy the definition of what is means to be "Tongan."

This page was last updated: November, 2013