Let's learn Tongan

Home » Vocabulary » Highest Respect for Tongan Women

Highest Respect for Tongan Women

Follow me on Twitter

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 56 other followers

Mehikitanga

Sesika Fifita as mehikitanga takes money gift presented by the dancer.

fahufatongia

Mehikitanga accepts her share of food presentation.

In Tongan society, the women or the sisters outrank the males or brothers in the family unit. Accordingly, the language used is one of respect. 

This value and respect the women’ rank is evident in cultural celebrations where the male or brother performs his duty to his paternal aunty and sisters. They are culturally elevated, and honoured fakalāngilangiʻi with presentations of food, gifts of money, fine mats and tapa. The language follows these cultural values where one’s ‘eiki or chiefly side of the family is always referred to with politeness and respect.

We are celebrating International Womenʼs Day with a vocabulary theme of words which describe women and their roles within the family.

  • ta’ahine (n) girl, lady. Also regal word for woman or chiefʼs daughter.
  • finemu’i (n) young girl not yet married
  • ‘ofefine (n) describes daughter of a man.
  • tuofefine (n) describes sister of a male
  • fefine (n) woman, girl (adj) female
  • fafine (n) (adj) plural. girl, women, females
  • faʻē (n) mother
  • mehikitanga (n) fathers sister, paternal aunt
  • fine’eiki (n) lady (polite) word for wife
  • finemotu’a (n) elderly woman, married woman. (derogatory) word for wife
  • kui fefine (n) grandmother
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: