Fakalakalaka : The impact of a Tongan notion of development in a contemporary transnational world
Abstract: This paper aims to explore a Tongan notion of development –'fakalakalaka' – in light of Western notions of development. Two case studies of international development aid schemes illustrate the impact of Tongan development ideas in practice. Drawing on a number of ethnographers' work on Tonga, 'fakalakalaka' appears broader than the Western notion of development. The latter is characterised by influential ideals of controllability and industrialisation. The notion of development among Tongans, on the other hand, tends to be directed by an underlying persistence that, for instance, reflects Tongan core values regarding social organisation. The production of textile 'koloa', controlled by women, emerges as central to the accomplishment of this three-dimensional development notion of intertwined physical, mental and spiritual aspects. The importance attributed to this specific kind of textile has increased in recent years and found two additional roles, or development strategies, in Tongans' contemporary transnational world.
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