50 interesting facts about the country of Tonga
The islands of Tonga are practically unknown in the world, more precisely, most people on Earth do not even know about the existence of such a state. Recently, they are gaining popularity only among eco-tourists and downshifters.
Tonga is a tiny island country in the Pacific Ocean. People here live a habitual life that almost does not change over time, and even if they do not live richly, they are calm and quite happy. Here, no one cares about politics or the world economy - life here is limited to the territory of the country itself.
Tonga- top facts
1.Tonga is a small island country in the Pacific Ocean.
The majority of the world's population does not even suspect the existence of this country.
2. This state is located in Polynesia. The official name of the country is the Kingdom of Tonga.
3. The Kingdom of Tonga is an archipelago, it consists of 177 islands. Most of the islands of the Tonga archipelago are of volcanic or coral origin. Of the 177 islands, only 36 are inhabited by people.
4. These 36 islands have a total population of 108,020 people.
5. The total area of Tonga is 748 square kilometers.
6. British explorer James Cook called Tonga "Friendly Islands" and this phrase is used by the country's tourism industry to this day to attract tourists from all over the world.
7. James Cook named these islands after attending a magnificent feast and festival in his honor, organized by the leader of the island of Haapai - Finau Ulukalala. But Cook did not even suspect that the feast was actually a red herring. Finau Ulukalala and members of his tribe wanted to attack Cook and his expedition and rob the ship. But the leader did not dare to do this and abandoned his idea shortly before the start of the feast.
8. The capital of the state is Nuku'alofa. This city was founded in 1795 on the island of Tongatapu. It is now the largest and most populous city in the Kingdom. Nuku'alofa is home to ¼ of the population of Tonga.
9. Tongatapu Island is an atoll with an area of 260 km², it is also the largest and most populous island in the state. About 70% of the country's population lives on the territory of this atoll.
10. The Kingdom of Tonga was created by King George Tupou I. During his reign, the first set of laws was created on the islands, and Christianity became popular. George Tupou I reigned from 1845 to 1893 until his death at 95. Under him, the period of wars and unrest, which lasted from 1799 to 1852, was completed, and a constitution was adopted.
11. Most of the country's inhabitants are Christians. 1/3 of the country belongs to the United Methodist Church, and 1/5 of the country belongs to the Mormons. Due to the fact that there is a small number of inhabitants, it turns out that Tonga is the leader among the countries of the world in terms of the number of Mormons per capita.
12. Tonga is a mono-national country, more than 96 percent of the population are Tongans.
13. Almost the entire population of the country has Polynesian roots. The inhabitants of TongA are closely related to the Samoans and other Polynesians in culture and language, as well as in genetic heritage.
14. The kingdom gained independence from Great Britain in 1970.
15. Life here is limited to the territory of the country itself. No one here cares about politics and the world economy. People here live a habitual life that almost does not change over time, and although they do not live richly, they are calm and quite happy.
16. Due to the lack of suitable stone for construction, almost all buildings in Tonga are made of wood. But the royal palace and the parliament building are made of stone, and building materials were delivered here from other places.
17. The Kingdom is located in the so-called Pacific volcanic ring of fire and has at least 4 active volcanoes on its archipelago. In 2009, there was a strong undersea earthquake measuring 8.3, which, in turn, caused a tsunami. As a result of this tsunami, a large number of villages were destroyed.
18. Over the past two centuries, at least 35 volcanic eruptions have occurred on the islands of Tonga, the last was in 1960.
19. The highest point in the Kingdom is an unnamed place on the island of Kao, towering 1033 meters above sea level.
20. The climate on the islands of Tonga has two distinct seasons - dry and rainy. As for the average annual temperature, it is around 26 degrees Celsius.
21. The Tonga archipelago has two national parks and six reserves.
22. Tonga has two official languages - English and Tongan. But in practice, few people here speak and understand English.
23. Most Tongans are very religious people. The official religion of the kingdom is Christianity.
24. There are some diplomatic missions on the territory of the Kingdom of Tonga.
25. The Kingdom of Tonga maintains diplomatic relations with many countries.
26. The economy of this state is based on agriculture. Agriculture is the driving force in the country. The main export commodities that bring the greatest income to the country's budget are beans, coconuts, bananas, corn, breadfruit, limes, and pineapples.
27. In addition to these products, Tonga also exports timber, animal meat and fish.
28. Most of the produce grown is consumed by the Tongans, while the rest is exported to the United States of America, New Zealand, Japan and Australia.
29. The country also imports products from countries such as Australia, Singapore, USA, Fiji and New Zealand.
30. There are no railways in Tonga.
31. Hard-surfaced roads in Tonga are only about two hundred kilometers long.
32. The total length of roads in Tonga is about seven hundred kilometers.
33. There are only a few car rentals in the country.
34. There is only one international airport here. Flights from Tonga are only available from Fiji, New Zealand and Australia.
35. The crime rate in Tonga tends to zero, as in other small island countries like Niue or Kiribati.
36. Like many other island nations lost in the ocean, Tonga is experiencing problems with fresh water. Tongans collect rainwater in special tanks.
37. This country is home to the so-called "disappearing" island of Fonuafoʻou. This is an underwater volcano, which throughout history has repeatedly “peeped out” of the water, and then plunged back in the same way.
38. Between 1781 and 1865, shallow water formed near the volcano. In 1867, he already looked out from under the water. By 1885, it had risen to a height of 50 meters above sea level (at its highest point), and reached a length of 2 kilometers. Then the leadership of the state announced that they had a new island, Fonuafoʻou. However, after a few decades, he again disappeared under water. Two years later, Fonuafo'u reappeared, and its peak point reached 320 meters.
39. The government organized an expedition and wanted to plant the flag of Tonga there and plant some palm trees, but after the volcanic eruption, the island submerged again. Until 1927, he was under water. Then it appeared and existed until 1949, after which it again plunged under water. She reappeared in 1954 and sank again in 1959. Today it is under water at -17 meters above sea level.
40. The Tongan armed forces took part in the First World War, as well as in the peacekeeping operation in Iraq.
41. Bats are sacred animals in Tonga. These are the property of the monarchy and they are protected by law. Therefore, it is forbidden to harm them or use them as pets on the islands. Thanks to this policy, the islands of Tonga are an ideal place for these mammals.
42. The only embassy of Tonga is located in China, in Beijing.
43. In addition to the danger posed by the Pacific Ring of Fire, Tonga also faces a major sea level rise problem. While some parts of the country are quite high above sea level and protected by mountainous terrain, others, flat areas with relatively low altitude, may be flooded in the near future.
44. Grocery stores in Tonga do not have as much variety as one might expect, canned goods of all kinds predominate here. Affects the remoteness from civilization.
45. The national sport in Tonga is rugby.
46. The Tongan currency is called paanga. In everyday life, it is sometimes called the Tongan dollar.
47. Five radio stations broadcast throughout the kingdom.
48. The land area of the kingdom increases from time to time due to volcanic activity, as a result of which new islands rise to the surface of the ocean.
49. The islands of Tonga were practically unknown in the world. Even most people on Earth did not even know about the existence of such a state. Recently, they have been gaining popularity, especially among eco-tourists and downshifters.
50. Many tourists come to this country to swim with humpback whales. Every year from June to October, whales make an amazing journey of 5,000 kilometers from Antarctica to the warm waters of Tonga. They return to Tonga to breed. After their cubs get stronger, the whales return back.