New Year's in Vanuatu

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February 25th 2007
Published: February 25th 2007
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New Year’s in Vanuatu

So now I’m getting it! New Years was spent sober dancing to repetitive string band music with the children. Yes, that was certainly a first. The next morning, we ate bread, again, and ok the end… but no!

So a few days after New years it’s pouring down rain and all the youth decide to go on this big wokabout (walkabout-walk) to sing to various villages. Well I know they love to sing and so I guess this is a tradition, how nice. But 10 hours they were gone, walking and singing the whole time, and in a mad downpour! Hmmm I just don’t get what drove them. Then they came back and I learned more about their tradition. It seems as they go and sing at each village, the people poured baby powder on them and sprayed perfume (Ok, something they do on special occasions which I STILL don’t get) and give them presents like calicos (material-lava lavas or skirts) and rice. At the end of the day, after returning to the village, they feasted on their rice, closing out the year. The next day some of the villages they visited paid their respects to ours. So now that its’ all over (I think) I see some similarities to our own holiday.

Vanuatu America
decorate decorate
Bake bread Bake cookies
Go to church Go to church
Give gifts Give gifts
Watch football (soccer) Watch football
sing caroling
Final new years feast New Years Day dinner


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