New bilingual book educates artists and traditional upholders of Tongan culture

A new bilingual book on Tongan education, theology and performing arts has been launched in New Zealand.

Titled “A Parent’s Dream: A Son Inspired,” the book is a collection of the works of Tongan artist, educator and theologian, Rev Dr Tevita Tonga Mohenoa Puloka.

First launched in Tonga last July by Her Majesty Queen Nanasipau’u Tuku’aho, the author spoke about his work at the Auckland launch at the Mangere Arts Centre on November 4, where he also autographed launch day copies.

Queen Nanasipau’u praised the book as a priceless resource for the education of all Tongan children, ministers, artists, nation-builders and traditional upholders of Tongan culture and society.

Fellow Tongan theologian Archbishop Winston Halapua commended Dr Puloka’s artistic and linguistic skills.

“He enables the reader also to join a joyful dance to the glory of God. The content of this valuable collection speaks to our changing and challenging contexts today. The collection is a precious gift for future generations. Puloka’s passion and love of God is mānava (breath) encountered through his courageous and creative writings,” Bishop Halapua said.

Book editors Sione Tu’itahi and Viliami Puloka regard the book as a rich repository of Tongan Indigenous knowledge for Tongan and non-Tongan scholars and researchers.

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