Mike Evans
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
University of Alberta, Canada


This is a photo taken July 2000, in the Vava'u region of the Kingdom of Tonga. The three small girls are drinking Fanta, a orange flavoured soft-drink product made by Coke in Fiji. One might think this a sign of the increasing affect of globalization on Tongans and Tongan culture. But if you look more closely you will see that the child in the middle is drinking her Fanta from the side of the can, not the top. She has bitten a small hole in the can, and is making quick sucking and releasing motions with her mouth in order to create and release the negative pressure created when she drinks. This is exactly the way one would drink a coconut. This is exactly a Tongan adaptation of (not to) Fanta. As an aside, my daughter, who spent almost two years in Tonga when she was a small child, drinks soft-drinks in a very similar manner; though she cracks the tab just a bit rather than biting a hole in the side of the can. Ahhhh ... the variations and adaptations of Tongan culture are indeed global ones.