• 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 Vanuatu

Dating in Vanuatu must begin with an event Vanuatu is known for: jumping off a large tower with nothing but a vine tied to their feet. This event, called nagol, is done each year in about April or May to prove that a young boy is now a man as he jumps off a tower as high as 100 feet (30 meters); the rope is short enough that if he fell straight down he would hit the ground, but if he jumps away from the tower the rope will tighten and slow him down as he approaches the ground. Once this feat is completed the boy is a man and is ready to marry.

Although ready to marry, first a young man needs to find a wife and this is difficult in that dating in Vanuatu is very subtle and public displays of affection are considered inappropriate. Dating today consists of meeting each other in numerous locations, but generally in private, although some places are more liberal and couples can meet in public, such as Port-Vila. No matter the situation, dating is done subtlety and both families of the couple are expected to approve of the marriage prior to a wedding.

Families today are enjoying greater freedoms and more equality in relationships, but traditional male and female roles still determine much of the family dynamic in Vanuatu. Men are still expected to support the family financially and are looked to for making important decisions, while women are generally expected to keep the house in order and to be the primary caregiver. Most couples have three of four children so families tend to be fairly large. In Port-Vila these roles and the dynamic is slowly changing as more women are working and the large foreign population lives much as they did in their home countries, which varies from couple to couple.

This page was last updated: November, 2013