Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of Tonga
Most of the people of Tonga are ethnically Polynesian, although
the Tongans prefer to be called ethnically Tongan. The Polynesians, who are a group
of people that are related to the Melanesians and Austronesians among others, occupy
much of the South Pacific. The Tongans are closely related to the
Samoans, Tuvaluans, and are more distantly related
to other Polynesian people, including the Maori of New Zealand
and the Hawai'ians in the United States.
Both Tongan and English are official languages in Tonga, but
English is primarily just a secondary language as there are few native speakers.
Tongan belongs to the Austronesian language family and is more particularly defined
as a Polynesian language. The closest linguistic relatives to Tongan are other Polynesian
languages, with Niuean being the most similar, but also being further related to
Samoan, Hawai'ian, Maori, and the languages of the Cook Islands and French Polynesia