Tongan King And Queen Honored At Hawaii’s Polynesian Cultural Center

Pair attends opening of newly renovated Tongan Village

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, June 13, 2016) – HM King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau'u attended the opening of a newly restored Tonga Village at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Hawaii, on 11 June.

In a ceremony steeped in culture, the King and Queen arrived by canoe and were greeted with a song by the Kahuku Tongan Choir, with cultural performances from the center's six island villages of Hawai’i, Tahiti, Aotearoa, Fiji and Samoa and Tonga.

King Tupou VI in his address praised the center for its dedication to showcase culture.

“The Polynesian Cultural Center is a window the world can look through to understand lesser known islands and their people. The Tonga Village fosters pride in the cultural identity of our people and allows them to preserve and pass on that love to our younger generations.”

President of the Polynesian Cultural Centre Alfred Grace said they were grateful that the King and Queen of Tonga joined them to celebrate the beautiful Tongan village and the proud and noble people it represents. “At the Tonga Village, we encapsulate all that is significant, worthy and meaningful to the Polynesian Cultural Center; it is a showplace for a magnificent culture.”

More than 100 people of Tongan ancestry concluded the ceremony by performing traditional Tongan cultural songs and dances.

The Tongan village was originally built in 1963, when the Polynesian Cultural Center opened. The village is now completely restored with structures built using traditional Tongan materials and lashes. This included a new large town hall for cultural presentations, new kitchen and underground oven to show Tongan cooking methods, restored family house and Queen’s summer house, new women’s workshop for weaving and cultural activities, restored drum presentation for cultural performances with renovation to the central lawn area to make it ideal for cultural demonstrations, ceremonies and presentations.

This was the first visit by the King Tupou VI and the first appearance by the Tongan Royal Family at the center since 1993.

Matangi Tonga Magazine
Copyright © 2016 Matangi Tonga. All Rights Reserved

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