Vanuatu is a country in Oceania. It is in the South Pacific, and it is made up of up to 80 islands. They stretch up to some 1,300 kilometres. The island offers scuba diving and snorkeling at the coral reefs.
Those facts are just a few of the generally known ones. But there are a number of other facts that many people do not know about or do not care to know about. These border on the amazing as you will find. Here are a couple of examples: what must female visitors not take for granted? What things are important to take along when visiting Vanuatu? If you are verbally abusive, one of what three things must beware of as the response? And what kind of questions must you refrain from asking?
Get the answers to all these and lots more in the following 11 amazing facts about Vanuatu. Enjoy!
Capital: Port Vila
President: Baldwin Lansdale
Government: Unitary Parliamentary Republic
Official Languages: Bislama, French, English.
Population: 243,450 (2016 Estimate)
Currency: Vanuatu Vatu (VUV)
Amazing Facts About Vanuatu
1. What Kastom Means
In the whole of Vanuatu and especially outside the capital Port Vila, life is strongly influenced by what they locally refer to as kastom. This amazing word refers to a set of traditional customs and taboos that regulates all aspects of life of the people. As a visitor, you are advised to respect this.
2. Dressing Advice for Female Visitors
Female visitors must not take it for granted that they are foreigners and so the local customs and etiquettes don’t have any hold on them when it comes to dressing. They are advised to dress modestly with shoulder and knees well covered especially when visiting villages.
3. More Dressing Advice
Females visitors again are especially to abstain from wearing any dresses that are revealing or that can be termed sexy in any way. The advice holds for both sexes; but is especially for females. Wearing such would offend the locals. And the amazing part is that it could be interpreted as an invitation for sex.
4. What to Take Along
It is a known fact that Vanuatu is not very fashion aware. Therefore, it would not matter a cent to anyone if you are the fashion queen or king of the world and yet dress so modestly there. Just bring along summer cotton dresses that can be hand-washed. Carry some slippers and good torch lights too.
5. Gift Worn Clothes
It would do you a world of good, if you plan to visit the outer islands, to take along a lot of old and worn clothing. And then when you are done visiting, it would do you good too to give away the worn clothes to people there. You would endear them to yourself immensely. Is that not amazing?
6. Rewards of Worn Clothes Gifting
Jobs are hard to come by in Vanuatu and minimum wage is quite low. It would amaze you to know that in winter, the average winter dress is three T-shirts worn together. So giving them your worn clothing when you are departing would put a most rewarding smile on many faces.
7. Bottle Up Emotions
Try your utmost to keep a lid on your negative emotions. Display of anger will make the recipient morose, withdrawn, and uncooperative. Plus, if you complain too much or are verbally abusive, you can expect one of three responses: smiling, subdued laughter, or a punch in your face. Wow! Amazing!
8. How to Ask Questions
Do your utmost to avoid asking questions that require yes or no as the answer. This is because the answer you will always get is the one that they know will please you, since they do not want to contradict your thought. Ask WH or H questions instead that require explanatory answers.
9. No Direct Eye Contact
Do not expect direct eye contact, because you will not get it. Also, you are not going to get a raised voice level when you are told anything. This is because direct eye contact and raised voice levels are seen as intimidation. And even when they nod in agreement, it could mean they just did it to avoid too much talk; not that they have understood a word you said. So speak slowly and distinctly.
10. Turning Backs on You
You may be in a bus and people along the road are turning their backs on you (the bus) as you come by. Don’t take offence because it really has nothing to do with you. It may be amazing to you that they are simply telling the bus driver that they do not need him to stop.
You will see men hold hands with men. You will see women hold hands with women. These are nothing more than a simple show of friendship. However, you will NOT see a man holding hands with a woman. This would be considered as a public exhibition of sexual relations.