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Tonga National Pavilion Day celebrated at Expo

08-03-2010 09:01 BJT Special Report:Shanghai World Expo 2010 |

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The Kingdom of Tonga celebrates its National Pavilion Day Monday at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

The Tonga Pavilion, located inside the Pacific Pavilion, features exhibitions showcasing the beauty and the unique culture of this Pacific Country, its sustainable lifestyle, and hospitable people.

Welcoming visitors to the Tonga Pavilion are costume-clad artists who are excited to share their culture through dance.

The characteristic moves and deafening sound of drums presented by Tonga performers combine to bring spectators back to the battle fields in ancient times.

Her Royal Highness Princess Salote Pilolevu Tuita is the Guest of Honor at the opening ceremony of the Tonga National Pavilion Day.
Her Royal Highness Princess Salote Pilolevu Tuita is the Guest of Honor at the 
opening ceremony of the Tonga National Pavilion Day.

Her Royal Highness Princess Salote Pilolevu Tuita is the Guest of Honor at the opening ceremony of the Tonga National Pavilion Day. The princess says she has visited China almost every year since 1996, but her visit to the 2010 Shanghai World Expo has a significant meaning.

The princess hopes visitors to the Tonga Pavilion can get a panoramic view of her country through the exhibitions of folk arts.

The Kingdom of Tonga is an archipelago country in the South Pacific Ocean. It is comprised of 169 islands covering a total area of nearly 7-hundred square kilometers. The kingdom stretches over a distance of about 800 kilometers in a north-south line.

One unique cultural mark of Tonga, is the country's high obesity rate, with over 90 percent of the population being overweight. Much of this is related to the nation's cultural love of food and eating as well as the modern influx of high-fat content meat.

Overweight women are considered beauties in Tonga. It is believed that obese women can bring good luck and prosperity to a family. And men with a large body and extra weights are also highly sought after. The late King Taufa'ahau Tupou the 4th, who passed away in 2006, was regarded the most handsome man in Tonga for his weight of more than 2-hundred kilograms.

Contributing to the obesity of the Tonga people is not only the high-calorie cuisine, but also the lack of physical exercise. In recent years, however, there's been growing awareness of the increased risks of heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems related to obesity. The Tonga government has established a number of gyms in the capital of Nuku'alofa to encourage its people to keep fit.

Apart from the gyms, the country's capital boasts no multi-story structures. It is recognized as one of the least polluted places on the globe, and lures countless tourists with its clean air, coconut palms, and pristine innocence.

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