• 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 Palau

Dating in Palau is somewhat muted as public displays of affection are discouraged and open dating is considered inappropriate by many. Despite this, dating is growing in popularity and today many couples date prior to marriage (historically dating was uncommon as most marriages were arranged by the families). In the past, and to a much lesser degree today, marriages were based more on finances and politics than they were on love as people married another with a similar economic standing as money was exchanged between the two families. Today this is no longer required, but many aspects of this past are still present.

Traditionally, when a man decides he wants to marry a woman he goes to the girl's father to ask permission, but the conversation is often done with a spokesperson who will negotiate the marriage and state the future groom's intentions. Even today permission is needed from both the bride's and groom's parents and if either set of parents disagrees with the marriage it will likely not happen. If the marriage is to take place, the new couple would remain in her parents' house until they moved to his parents' house with a large offering of food. The marriage ceremony today is official with the exchange of money from the groom's family to the bride's.

Once married, the couple will live in the husband's community, but he is still responsible to support her and her family financially. Divorce is not real common, but when it does occur it is often initiated by the relatives of the husband. For this reason, and for the financial system in place for married couples, cooperation is very important in families and the community as a whole. The Palauans are natural politicians as compromise is always needed.

Despite the many business-like aspects of marriage in Palau, the relationship is also one of affection and this seems to be more common with each passing decade as dating becomes more popular and young people have more freedom to choose their spouse. Immediate families tend to remain somewhat small though as most couples only have one or two children, however, as members of the community as a whole, they have numerous responsibilities beyond family.

This page was last updated: November, 2013