Thursday, April 12, 2012


The other day, I got a lift from one of my co-workers, a young man in his mid 20's. He's a genuinely nice person and as I asked if I could get a ride to do an errand, he replied, "You don't need to ask.  Just get in, David."

We soon came upon a traffic jam and I asked if he knew what is going on.  He explained it was for a funeral of someone from a neighboring district.  This prompted me to ask if he was still wearing black to honor the recent passing of the King.  He shook his head and matter of factly said, "respect".  I then realized he was from the same district as the deceased in the funeral procession.

The Tongan word for respect/honor is faka'apa'apa.  It's not just something you say or think about, it's something Tongans live by.

What a beautiful way to learn a language.