Most free time in Tonga is spent socializing with family and
friends. It seems like a common occurrence for many Tongans to just casually stroll
around town until they decide to stop at a friend's house, where they will surely
be welcomed in for a drink or even a full meal.
Nearly everyone in Tonga identifies as being a "Tongan,"
but how this is defined is being debated as modern-day challenges and introductions
to the country threaten the historic definition of being Tongan and the people seem
torn on which way to turn and how much, if at all, they can change the definition
of being Tongan and how much, if at all, they can change Tongan culture, which is
at the heart of the Tongan identity.
Tongan identity and culture has always been based on a person's family and community.
Village life is at the core of the culture and family is what makes each village
unique and what makes the country as a whole what it is today. However, modern technology
and a changing mindset in Tonga are threatening this lifestyle;
hence it is changing the culture and the definition of what it means to be "Tongan."
In a way the people want the modern lifestyle and improvements in their daily lives,
but they don't want to abandon their traditional culture. Some people believe
the two can progress hand in hand, while others believe these modern additions will
destroy the culture, and hence destroy the definition of what is means to be "Tongan."