• Solomon Islands!

    Solomon Islands: Looking up at palm trees. Go Now!

    Solomon Islands
    This Melanesian country is best known for its many islands and beaches... and this natural landscape (pictured) is why most people go. Don't miss out on the unique Melanesian culture and foods though! Begin Your Journey!

  • Tonga!

    Tonga: Coastline. Go Now!

    The heart of Polynesian culture is rooted in Tonga, but most visitors just come for the natural beauty. Explore Tonga!

  • Vanuatu!

    Vanuatu: Jetty into the ocean. Go Now!

    Picturesque serenity is a good way to describe Vanuatu, but the culture offers much more, including the inspiration for bungee jumping, which remains a rite of passage for young men. Explore Vanuatu!

  • Palau!

    Palau: "70 Islands!" Go Now!

    Few people have even heard of this small Micronesian country, but those who have often return with stories of beauty unmatched elsewhere, such as view of the "70 Islands" (pictured). Go Now!

  • Explore the: Federated States of Micronesia!

    Federated States of Micronesia: Overlooking some islands. Go Now!

    Federated States of Micronesia
    This diverse country stretches for thousands of miles and has the diversity to prove it, including the people from Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Yap among others. Begin Your Journey!

  • Samoa!

    Samoa: A traditional home. Go Now!

    Among the most famous of the South Pacific's many countries, Samoa sits in the heart of Polynesia and has a culture to match. Begin Your Journey!

Relationships, Marriage, & Family Life in Kiribati

Dating in Kiribati varies to a great degree as some young people today are able to date and choose their spouse, but for others dating is non-existent as families choose their children's spouse. Although this arranged marriage was much more common in the past, it still exists to some degree in Kiribati today.

Young, unmarried women are expected to maintain their virginity prior to marriage and if they do the wedding is a great celebration. However, if this is not the case the wedding ceremony will often take place in rather humble circumstances like at a courthouse or without a large celebration. This is because a significant part of the wedding night is proving that the girl was a virgin, in what is known as the "cloth ceremony," which demands that after the couple consummate their marriage they reveal the blood-stained sheet. If the bride isn't a virgin the families are often ashamed and a marriage can be immediately ended. In some cases however, if the bride loses her virginity to her groom then a staged "cloth ceremony" may take place.

After a couple is married, the bride's family will often travel with the cloth to extended family and the newly married couple will start a family of their own. Families in Kiribati vary in size, but most married women have three children, although some families are smaller and others are obviously larger.

This page was last updated: November, 2013