Wednesday, July 24, 2013


My Dad says that nothing ever happens in Tonga. He's wrong. In the week since we got back here, the little island of Tongatapu has seen three major art exhibitions, an historic publishing event, a visit by two top film producers scouting locations for a multi-million dollar shoot, and, less happily, a riot that left seventy locals in holding cells and another sixty in hospital. In between all these events, which I'll report on in later posts, I've been trying to drum up business for the 'Atenisi Institute. as the second semester begins. Here's the brochure we're putting around.

Why You Should Study at ‘Atenisi  

A History of Success

In the fifty years since it was founded by the legendary Futa Helu, ‘Atenisi has trained thousands of successful Tongans. Around the world, ‘Atenisi graduates can be found working as academics, scientists, journalists, doctors, and lawyers. Here in Tonga there are many ‘Atenisi graduates in parliament, and others are busy teaching, running businesses, editing newspapers, and making art. ‘Atenisi’s performing arts group has toured the world, and a film about ‘Atenisi called Tongan Ark is currently a hit at international film festivals. Young men and women who enrol at ‘Atenisi are following in the footsteps of generations of dynamic Tongans.
A Critical Attitude

‘Atenisi’s success over the decades is partly the result of our philosophy. Where some other Tongan schools tell their students what to think, we teach our students how to think. Inspired by the ancient Greeks, who invented democracy and philosophy, we make our classrooms into places of criticism and debate. Our students lean to develop their own opinions, and to turn those opinions into the quality academic work that results in jobs and scholarships.
A Top Team

‘Atenisi has always attracted quality staff. In 2013 our team has been joined by Dr ‘Opeti Taliai, an anthropologist who has taught at two prestigious New Zealand universities, by Dr Scott Hamilton, a sociologist who recently published a book with Manchester University Press, one of the world’s most respected academic imprints, and by Dr Andrew Alcorn, who took his degree at Wellington’s Victoria University and is an expert on both the theoretical and practical sides of architecture. Between them, the eight teachers currently employed by ‘Atenisi have fifteen degrees in a dozen different subjects.
A Bridge to Overseas Study

‘Atenisi is a bridge to the big world outside Tonga. Academics, artists, and students from overseas have always visited our school to teach or do research, and many of our graduates go on to study overseas. ‘Atenisi offers the ideal preparation for study at a university overseas.
A Balanced Approach

Although it is international in outlook, ‘Atenisi has a firm base in Tongan culture. Students are encouraged to take classes in Tongan music and dance with Sisi’uno Langi-Helu. Along with her siblings Atolomake and ‘Iliasa, Sisi’uno is a guardian and teacher of some of Tonga’s oldest and most beautiful dances, songs, and stories. Students are also encouraged to join our school’s performing arts troupe. By engaging in vigorous exercise as well as study, students balance the mental and physical sides of their lives.
‘Atenisi – Critical for Success.
Semester Two 2013 Courses

Linguistics and Philosophy, Dr ‘Opeti Taliai 

Ancient History and Culture of Tonga, Dr ‘Opeti Taliai 

Political Anthropology, Dr ‘Opeti Taliai 

Studying Sociology through Film, Dr Scott Hamilton 

Advanced Research Project, Dr Scott Hamilton 

Sustainable Architecture, Dr Andrew Alcorn

Community Tongan Dance, Sisi‘uno Langi-Helu 

Tongan Dance, Oratory and Poetry, Sisi‘uno Langi-Helu 

Spanish Language for Beginners, Atolomake Helu 

Tongan Language for Beginners, Lose Miller-Helu 

Tongan Language for Advanced Learners, Lose Miller-Helu 

Theoretical Physics, Firitia Velt 

Economics, Dr Michael Horowitz 

Psychology, Dr Michael Horowitz 

Asian Philosophy, Dr Michael Horowitz 

French Language for Beginners, by a teacher to be supplied by the Alliance Francais Centre


Blogger Paul Janman said...

Viva 'Atenisi!

7:11 am  
Anonymous Maikolo Horowitz said...

Ingrid Johnston, a sociology PhD candidate at University of Tasmania, has just completed a month's field work in Ha'apai. She reports on attitudes there towards past, present, and future natural disaster via a public lecture at Lolo Masi Hall, 'Atenisi Instiutute, Halaano district, on Mon. evening, 29 July, 7-8:30. Free admission and refreshments, as usual.

1:54 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Good stuff Scott. Interesting.

12:21 am  

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