Vanuatu’s Culture, Vanuatu

Vanuatu’s Culture

The people of Vanuatu are a friendly community with a rich history going back centuries. Vanuatu had a known 113 different languages spoken on its shores. Bislama is a very Pacific style pidgin English that blends simplified forms of English with a smattering of French, Spanish and local tongues. English and French are also widely spoken.

Be sensitive to the cultural norms in this piece of paradise. The Ni-Vanuatu are traditionally quite conservative so travelers would be well advised to avoid any clothing that bears too much. This is especially true if you are a female traveler. Beachwear is absolutely fine at the pool, your resort or on a diving trip, but everywhere else, err on the side of wearing more. If you plan to explore remote beaches for which you pass through villages, avoid wearing a bikini. It is absolutely acceptable here to wear dresses to the beach. Going local with an island dress which isn’t figure hugging and is made from pretty soft floral fabrics is a great way to beat the heat while respecting local culture.

Greeting and thanking each other is the norm. A quick beep when you pass another car, just to say ‘hello’ is customary when you’re on the road. The locals are very polite, so be on your best behavior. Do not haggle or bargain, it is considered disrespectful.

Learn to live on island time during your stay. Nothing is cast in stone and time is a flexible concept, though you can usually count on your hotel transfers to be organized per schedule.


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