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Table of Contents
Tonga, officially named the Kingdom of Tonga, is a country made up of about 170 islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. The largest island is Tongatapu where the capital, Nuku’alofa, is located.
See the fact file below for more information on the Tonga or alternatively, you can download our 19-page Tonga worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The Kingdom of Tonga consists of roughly 170 islands, but only about 40 of these are inhabited.
- They are divided into 3 main groups which are the Vava’u in the north, Ha’apai in the center, and Tongatapu in the south.
- The closest neighbors of Tonga are Fiji, Samoa, and Niue.
- Nuku’alofa, the capital of Tonga, is the largest and most heavily populated island of the group.
- The total land area of Tonga is 748 square kilometers (289 square miles).
- According to UN data, the 2020 population of Tonga is estimated at 105,695 people at mid-year.
- The word Tonga comes from fakatonga, in several Polynesian and Tongan languages, which means “southwards”, as the archipelago is the southernmost group of the islands of central Polynesia.
- Tonga became recognized in the West as the “Friendly Islands” due to the congenial reception given to Captain James Cook on his first visit in 1773.
- Cook came at the time of the yearly donation of the First Fruits to the Tuʻi Tonga (the paramount chief of the island) which is called the ʻinasi festival and so received an invitation to the festivities. The chiefs desired to kill Cook during the gathering but couldn’t agree on a plan, according to the writer William Mariner.
- For at least 3,000 years, Tonga has been inhabited by humans. The monarchy of the country has existed since the 10th century. Tongan kings’ rule extended as far as the Hawaiian Islands by the 13th century.
- The earliest European to visit Tonga was Dutch navigator Jakob Le Maire in 1616.
- European settlements were not established until after the arrival of British explorer Capt. James Cook in 1773.
- In the 19th century, Christianity was introduced by Methodist missionaries, who abolished the traditional religious practices and converted Chief Taufa’ahau.
- Many dynastic changes led to civil war in the 19th century. In 1845, the victorious chief Taufa’ahau was proclaimed king.
- He then took the name George Tupou I.
- In 1900, the new king who ascended to the throne at a time of economic struggle for Tonga gave control of its foreign affairs to Great Britain.
- Tonga became independent of Britain on June 4, 1970.
- In the 1990s, some Tongans began a strong pro-democracy movement aiming to adopt a more democratic constitution that would allow for direct elections to the legislature.
- The movement established Tonga’s first political party in 1994, initially called the Tonga Democratic Party, but was later renamed the People’s Party.
- Tonga is part of the Pacific region of Oceania and is four times the size of Washington, DC.
- Some islands of Tonga are the peaks of underwater volcanoes, many of which are capped with coral limestone, while other islands are atolls or coral reefs that surround a pool of water.
- Tonga’s climate is semitropical. Summer is from December to April and the cooler period runs from May to November.
- In Tongan legend, flying bats are acknowledged as sacred and are the property of the monarchy. Thus, they are protected and can’t be harmed or hunted. As a result, flying fox bats have thrived on different islands of Tonga.
- The islands of Tonga have lush vegetation that offers an array of habitats for Tonga’s wildlife.
PEOPLE AND CULTURE
- Most of the people of Tonga are ethnically Polynesian.
- Tongans are still proud to retain their authentic culture and traditions despite embracing many elements of the contemporary world.
- The dominant religion is Christianity. More than two-fifths of the people are Free Wesleyans, and there are large minorities of Roman Catholics including Mormons.
- One of the most distinctive features of Tongan’s culture is fakaleiti, a modern continuation of an ancient Polynesian tradition, known as fa’afafine in Samoa and mahu or rae rae in French Polynesia.
- The official languages of the country are Tongan and English.
- Tongans are well-known for their craftsmanship of textiles, for weaving crafts, and for fashioning jewelry from shells, pearls, and other natural materials.
- Holidays as well as special occasions are celebrated with great feasts that feature music and folk dancing.
- Tongatapu has more than 65% of the total population of the country, with about 30% of the total living in and around Nuku’alofa, the island’s as well as the nation’s capital.
- Tongans give a high value to education. The literacy rate of Tonga is 99%.
- Living standards in Tonga are reasonably good, with life expectancy averaging slightly more than 70 years.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Tonga across 19 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Tonga worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Tonga, officially named the Kingdom of Tonga, which is a country made up of about 170 islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. The largest island is Tongatapu where the capital, Nuku’alofa, is located.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Tonga Facts
- Key Facts
- General Facts
- Tonga Timeline
- Unjumble Words
- First Woman Monarch in Tonga
- Tongan Culture
- The Friendly Islands
- Tonga Tourism Page
- Famous Foods
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Link will appear as Tonga Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 2, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.