Ko e fehu’i mālie eni ‘a Alando Soakai. A very interesting question by Alando Soakai.
Have you been called ‘plastic’ because you speak more English than your native tongue?
Other terms used to address you and your identity for not speaking the language is a pālangi (foreigner) or fie pālangi (want to be a foreigner). Considering there are more Tongans living outside the Kingdom is plastic the new norm? Great article into his own experience which I know many can relate to. Click on the link to check it out. Is ‘plastic’ the new norm?.
I’m currently travelling in America and the general comments I have been getting from the old folks have been the same everywhere I go.
They are happy to hear my children understand and speak in Tongan
They are happy to hear a mother speak in Tongan to their children
Their comments include “Vaivai ‘a ‘Amelika” America fails when it comes to passing on the language.That their own children understand little of the language.
But is it really only America with this problem? I think the problem is everywhere. Parents and grandparents and the community need to make the Tongan language a priority. Loose the language and you lose the culture and ones identity.