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The importance of speaking in Tongan

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Mahuʻinga ʻo e lea faka-Tonga.

This is an interview of Lady Fielakepa on the importance of speaking in Tongan. Her story would resonate with many Tongan families as it does with me.

She points to the old belief of her parents that education was important and in order to achieve it one had to be proficient in the English language. Which is great but the downfall of that was the demise of her Tongan language skills. She realised her own shortcomings and has since then strived to improve her own language skills and pushed her own kids and grandchildren to learn Tongan first.

The new belief is to teaching kids at an early age Tongan first. I am definitely encouraged knowing that Lady Fielakepa who is quite knowledgeable in Tongan culture is still a student  using the dictionary and continually learning from others about the Tongan language.

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