The native kava party is different from a beer bust. No one gets drunk even though kava is made from the roots of the kava plant and is mildly intoxicating. Women prepare it, men drink it. Visitors are not overly impressed with the drink since it looks like old dishwater and is slightly astringent. Custom decrees that no one at a kava party gets drunk or displays anger.
Tongans living abroad have had their share of adjustments to make. A large number have settled in Salt Lake City. The Wall Street Journal reported that a Tongan saved up to buy a Shetland pony advertised for sale. The owner asked what he intended to do with the animal. For my son’s birthday, replied the man. And the deal was closed.
The buyer picked up a two-by-four, clubbed the pony to death, dumped the carcass in his pickup truck and drove off. Police later found the pony trussed and roasting in a luau pit. Tongans learned to eat horsemeat from the early European missionaries.
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