As the world prepared for a new millennium throughout the year 1999, much debate and inquisition centered around the thought of time and space. World leaders deliberated over what time zone their respective nations would follow, which led to what we know of today as the iPhone ‘World Clock’ App . History reveals that out of this engaging deliberation done in the latter months of year 1999, countries would experience time on either side of the International Date Line in the coming era of the 2000’s.
The value of time and space was celebrated by a small Kingdom in the southern archipelago of the Pacific Ocean. In this small nation-state, morning prayer is a cultural practice that is exercised by mass population. Family members would wake up, and before beginning their day the head of the house would guide the family through prayer. This socio-religious trait is what became the cornerstone to King Tupou IV’s argument in the year 1999. Amongst world leaders, King Tupou stood grounded in his belief of beginning each day with gratitude. And, as history would reveal once again that on the Eve of the New Millennial Year — while the rest of the world counted down and embraced one another in warm affection — there was a small population of Pacific peoples who covered humanity in prayer.
As the first nation in the world to welcome in the New Age of thought and invention, the Kingdom of Tonga remains the first to experience the warm sunrise and greet each new day still with prayer and gratitude.
Today, as we celebrate National Tonga Day here in the States, we recognize the future for our monarchy. Although we our the smallest racial group in America and face uphilll battles against the racial and social stereotypes here in the States, we come from a nation of warriors whom look to prayer for guidance and sustenance. We join the United States, the most powerful nation in the world, in solidifying who we are in the mainland and all we can do to give back to our communities both here and abroad. National Tonga Day is a day to remind each of us of our roots, the sacrifices made to get here and how we can be successful for the future of our people and that’s whatitdo.
Written By: Tonga Victoria