• 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 Papua New Guinea

Relationships in Papua New Guinea vary drastically, with one extreme in the cities like Port Moresby and the other in the rural mountains. In the cities dating and freedom of choice in who a person marries is growing over time, although most dating is still done with a chaperone. In the villages nearly all dating is done with a chaperone and who one can date and marry is heavily dependent on an individual's family. Once a couple (or their families) decide to marry the groom's family is expected to pay the bride's family money (along with pigs and shells) and the bride is expected to work as requested by her husband.

At many weddings in Papua New Guinea most women wear grass aprons without a shirt and prior to the wedding the men and women divide into two groups. Men wear feathers and carry spears or bows. Both men and women paint their faces with details symbolic of the clan and this process, especially for the bride and groom can take hours to complete. The pigs (and money) are then exchanged to the bride's family and a couple pigs are often given back to the groom's family as a symbol of good relations. The following day is the feast, which is centered on the pigs exchanged the prior day.

After marriage, wives tend to move into their husband's house or village, at times moving in with his parents; it is very rare for a man to move into his wife's town. If the couple doesn't live with the husband's parents it is likely they live next door or within walking distance. Most couples in Papua New Guinea have three to four children, although this number varies to a degree.

Married life for many couples is a new life with defined roles. Women take on numerous chores as a wife and in some relationships their husbands demand much work. Since few marriages are based on emotion many men are unfaithful and sadly this is an accepted part of society in many areas. In some areas men are also allowed to have multiple wives, which comes with great expense, but if able to, many men prefer this route. Between this situation and the work some women are forced to endure many marriages end in divorce, suicide, or wives running away from marriages. For those that divorce or are widowed, many re-marry, but depending on the clan they marry into their children may be rejected.

This page was last updated: November, 2013