• 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!

Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of Tonga


Most of the people of Tonga are ethnically Polynesian, although the Tongans prefer to be called ethnically Tongan. The Polynesians, who are a group of people that are related to the Melanesians and Austronesians among others, occupy much of the South Pacific. The Tongans are closely related to the Samoans, Tuvaluans, and are more distantly related to other Polynesian people, including the Maori of New Zealand and the Hawai'ians in the United States.


Both Tongan and English are official languages in Tonga, but English is primarily just a secondary language as there are few native speakers. Tongan belongs to the Austronesian language family and is more particularly defined as a Polynesian language. The closest linguistic relatives to Tongan are other Polynesian languages, with Niuean being the most similar, but also being further related to Samoan, Hawai'ian, Maori, and the languages of the Cook Islands and French Polynesia among others.


Most of the people in Tonga are Christian, although various Christian religions exist in the country. The largest of these is the Free Wesleyan Church, which about 30% of the people follow. This church was founded in 1885 by the Tongan king, George Tupou I and the Tongan royal family still adheres to this faith.

This page was last updated: May, 2014