28 May 2012

Starting a Movement: Local artists in Tonga

At 6:02PM on Friday night at the exhibition opening of the local arts exhibition Movement, there were exactly two people looking at the art. The exhibition had officially opened at 6PM. As one of the organizers of the event, I was racked with nerves. I again went over in my mind the multiple notices I'd sent out, the invitations delivered, even the TV crew that showed up during the hanging of the work earlier that day. What if no one came? At 6:23PM, the room was so packed that I could hardly push through the masses of people! Cars clogged the street outside, and more and more just kept coming in.

The exhibition was packed full

23 May 2012

The Kermadec Exhibition comes to Tonga

Contemplating a John Pule painting
As the local press release said, over one thousand primary school students - as well as a huge number of secondary school students - are starting to visit the New Zealand High Commission this week. I came down from my desk on Tuesday to see the first group filing through, a scattering collection of uniformed, bright-faced primary students, ready to see the Kermadec Exhibition on display for the first time in Tonga.

For me, this is an amazing second experience with the Kermadec Project. Last year, I was lucky enough to perform with On the Spot, a local arts group, at a reception night held for the artists as they came through Tonga. This year, I got to work on it from the other side, helping to organize the exhibition and related events out of the NZ High Commission.

02 May 2012

The Tongan Royal Family Tree

Last year, out of utter confusion about who was related to whom, I created a royal family tree. But families change, teenagers grow up, and the royal family has had quite a big change lately- the change in kings - as well as the much talked-about royal wedding between HRH Prince 'Ulukalala (Crown Prince Siaosi Tuku'aho) and Hon. Sinaitakala Fakafanua.

I've updated the family tree and re-posted it below, some with new pictures, some with better pictures, and some the way they've always been.

As always, a couple of caveats: Names have been shortened in some cases, and most of the names without Prince, Princess, King, or Queen in front of them have an "Hon." that I have left out for the sake of space. I've also left out first or second marriages that are not considered part of the royal line. Bold titles underneath the names are the hereditary names that get passed from generation to generation, and purple dates indicate when the monarch reigned.

Also, I've left out quite a bit of detail between HM King George Tupou I and II : HM King George Tupou I had three children. His eldest son was HRH Prince Tevita Unga, Former PM of Tonga. His youngest son was HRH Prince Vuna, which Vuna Rd. in Nuku'alofa is named after. HM King George Tupou I had only one daughter, named HRH Princess Salote Pilolevu (whom the current Princess is named after).  HRH Princess Salote Pilolevu had 2 sons: Hon. Alipate Halakilangi and HRH Princess Salote Pilolevu (the first her 2nd son is named Hon Fatafehi) he is the father of HM King George Tupou II.

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