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Tonga Introduction and Overview: history, economics, agriculture, culture

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Uploaded on Jul 9, 2011

From the http://www.VideoSource.com Global Village Travel Guide and DVD, "Islands of the South Pacific". Stock footage available from http://videosource.com/search.html
Transcript:
Around 1000 B.C., when the Fijian islands could
no longer support their growing populations the
people looked eastward to what is today the Kingdom
of Tonga.




The limestone islands they found weren't as
diverse, nor as fertile as the volcanic ones they'd left,
so they brought with them the
domesticated animals and the food plants
they would need.
The Kingdom of Tonga is comprised of a number
of island groups. The two most important are the
Tongatapu group in the south and the Vava'u group in the north.
Between them lies the Ha'apai group.

There are 170 islands in all, of which 40 are inhabited.
The southern group is dominated by the island of Tongatapu which
means "sacred Tonga" and is home to the king.
The earliest inhabitants of these island established
a hereditary monarchy. Over the years, the kingdom
splintered and royal bloodlines multiplied, until,
In 1845, the reins of power were once again gathered




in the hands of one. In 1875, King George Tupou the 1st
approved a constitution, and since that time, the country has had a
constitutional monarchy.
The pace of life is slow and easy in Nukalofa, the capital and only
large town in all of Tonga. The streets and the market place
reflect the quality of life of the Tongan people.
Fresh, healthy food, a diet based on fish and a low stress level
that results from close family ties, have all contributed to one of the
longest life spans on the globe.
Primary education has been mandatory since 1927 and
King Tupou the 4th, the current monarch, was the first
Tongan ever to graduate from college.
Although the Tongan economy receives outside help from
Britain and other countries, the land is fertile and most men
own land to grow the family's staples such as taro root, many
varieties of banana, yams, cassava root, various fruits -- and of course..
coconuts.

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