Aliena

Tonga

This is
Aliena Lolohea (1998)

Country of origin
Tonga

Lives in Amsterdam since
1998

Lives in
Nieuw Sloten

Profession
Student

Loves
Indian food

Favorite spot
‘Chinatown.’

Would like
That Amsterdam gets an Tongan Ambassy

Tonga in Amsterdam 
Pacificus festival by the Westergasfabriek and my home. We have a lot of statues and robes from Tonga, straw baskets on the floor, this is also very Tongan.'

“My father was born in Tonga. During his studies he met my Dutch mother and they moved to the Netherlands together where my sister and I were born. My parents are no longer together. In 2000, when I was two years old, my father returned to Tonga. They were still together then, but my father couldn’t remain in Holland; he missed his culture and daily Tongan life too much. They are very different from here. Tonga is a poor country, but socially it’s extremely rich. It’s a small island and everyone knows each other. It’s not difficult to be part of a large social group. My father never had that in the Netherlands.


The entire family went to Fiji in 2008, where my father was working. I was ten. I lived there until I was twelve. These were the best two years of my life. I didn’t want to come back, and still feel the same way sometimes. Amsterdam is a wonderful city, but I feel much more at home in the Pacific. Europe is much too urban for me.

I want to study politics. My goal is to become a politician in the European Union and improve European-Tongan relations.

People don’t know much about Tonga. Here’s a selection of trivia about the country: Tonga is a group of islands near to Fiji, it’s a monarchy and one of the few countries that has never been a colony. There are no red lights, and 90% of the population suffer from diabetes. There are a lot of obese people in Tonga, because fat is a main part of our diet.


I don’t look Tongan. The most Tongan thing about me is that I’m proud to be Tongan. I think it’s a stunning country and knowing that there are very few Tongans living here makes me feel extra special. Even though I’ve only been there twice, I have very strong ties with Tonga.”

1 person in Amsterdam has the Tongan nationality


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