I also got to meet up with a Tongan friend who recently moved from Ha’ano to Nuku’alofa. I went over to Mele’s house after gorging myself at the Wesleyan feast.
She soon offered me more food, which I declined, and then she suggested we go rest. (That’s typical Tongan: have a guest and then encourage them to sleep.) I ended up falling asleep, and I awoke to Mele screaming into her cell phone.
A friend who is still in Ha’ano just called to tell Mele that another friend, Suli, had up and gotten married to a guy in Ha’ano. Suli and Sesi didn’t tell anyone beforehand; they just went to Pangai and got hitched. I’m not sure how many people knew the two were dating at all.
Mele was beside herself with this news and told everyone in her house. Most people responded with, “Suli who? And Sesi who?”
Suli was Wesleyan. Moreover, she was one of the women who was “ordained” to give the sermon herself. That qualification meant, however, that she wasn’t able to dance. Ever.
Sesi is Mormon. Mormons can’t do a lot of things: drink alcohol, drink caffeine, smoke, etc. And they have to go to church for three hours on Sunday.
Traditionally, after marrying, the woman changes to the man’s church. Thinking about this, I thought, “Oh, poor Suli! Now she’s Mormon and can’t do a lot of stuff!”
On the other hand, a Tongan who heard Mele telling the news said, “Oh, good for Suli. She can finally dance.”