Speaking of books… recently a Tongan artist and educator has released a book to address his concern at the future of the language. Doctor Tevita Mohenoa Puloka, who was recently appointed the Tonga Tradition Committee by its chairman King Tupou VI, wrote a bilingual book titled A Parent’s Dream, A Son Inspired. The book touches on his upbringing. Dr. Puloka said, as a writer and composer, he wanted to see the wealth of Tongan culture preserved and developed for future generations.
During an interview with Radio New Zealand Dr. Puloka described his book as being divided into three main sections. One is the story of his family and of his childhood. He refers to his father, who was a minister, and his mother and shares how his siblings and himself were brought up by his parents. The guidance of his Christian faith makes up the second part of the book and involves some of his malanga, preaching, but in Tongan. It also includes some guidelines for those who want to write or prepare sermons. Finally, the last section of the book contains many of his poetry works.
Dr. Puloka said, “I write sonnets, Shakespearean sonnets both in English and in Tongan. It contains a lot of help with the Tongan traditions especially the use of the language as I am very concerned about the preservation and further development of the Tongan language.”
He continued, ” Unfortunately for us older generation, we’re seeing the increasing use of the language and basic features of the culture and that is one of the main reasons for why I write this book. It is to help the younger generation to have an understanding and appreciation of what we older generation have received from our parents and from our ancestors.”
Dr. Puloka does not want to stop here, however. He plans on working on a second volume in the near future.