Kiribati Culture and Traditions
Customs and traditions
According to Abbreviationfinder, the social life in Kiribati revolves around the extended family and maneaban, that is, the house that is the gathering place in every village. The ties to the family and the home island are important and the sense of community is strong. You are used to sharing things and spaces, and often work together, even with neighbors.
Society is characterized by traditional notions that the interests of the collective take precedence over the individual and that politics should be run by older men. There is often a certain suspicion of individual success or large private assets.
- Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of Kiribati, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Maneaban is also used when partying, or botaki . An important botaki is held on a child’s one-year anniversary, especially if it is the first-born child. A person’s 21st birthday is also an important healing occasion, as is a wedding.
Mauri is a common phrase, meaning both hello and welcome. It is considered offensive to touch another person’s head, which also applies to children. Nor should one raise one’s arm over another’s head. Anyone who enters the maneaban bends down in front of people sitting, and is happy to say matauninga (excuse me). When sitting, make sure your feet are not pointing to anyone else, but rather sit cross-legged.
It is important not to act too undressed. You only wear swimwear on the beach. Showing reverence and humility is important and direct eye contact is often avoided. Photographing Kiribati is usually good, but you should ask first.
If you break any “code” – and for example point with your feet – you can be expected to pay a fine immediately. It may consist of a coin, tobacco, a pig or something edible. Anyone who visits a remote island usually donates tobacco at every shrine on the island.
Building sailing canoes and competing with them is popular. Volleyball and football are also common sports.
Fish and other things from the sea are an important part of the diet, as are coconuts in various forms. You eat coconut, cook with the meat, drink the milk as a sweet drink and ferment the meat to alcohol. Other important elements in diet are rice, breadfruit and pandanus (a kind of palm tree). Boiled and thinly sliced pandanus fruit covered with coconut cream is popular. Another common dish is palu sami – coconut cream with onions and curry in taro leaves cooked in seagrass oven.
According to Countryaah, the most important holiday is Independence Day on July 12, when parades, parties and competitions are organized. July is also the day of gospel, celebrating the arrival of Christianity in Kiribati, as well as a celebration of the celebration of the elderly. New Year’s Day is a holiday, Women’s Day is celebrated on varying dates in March and National Health Day in April. Youth Day falls in August and December 11 celebrates human rights and peace. Otherwise, the Christian holidays are observed at Easter and Christmas.